Over recent years, thrash metal has proven itself to be in great health. Whether it's through great releases by thrash veterans such as Anthrax (Worship Music) and Testament (The Formation Of Damnation, The Dark Roots Of Earth) or younger rising stars like Evile (Five Serpent's Teeth), thrash metal, whilst not quite in it's late 80s pomp is in good form across the board, and that's without mentioning bands like Sylosis or Skeletonwitch who offer a modern style of thrash with their own unique twists. The latest thrash group to catch the ear are another homegrown collective, Reign Of Fury, who's members hail from both the Midlands and West Country. Their debut full length offering World Detonation came to me as a result of hearing the single Born To Die (Dying To Live) which was a great song, so it was going to be interesting to see if they could keep up the quality across a whole album.
Opener Goodbye Mother Earth is initially a slow burner of an instrumental track that builds nicely with a couple of very dark atmospheric riffs and at times almost has the feeling of parts of Metallica's Orion to it. It also sets the stage for the aptly named Infernal Conflict, which is a classic thrash song with a modern feel to it. A Skeletonwitch style growl at the beginning of the song gives way to vocals that feel like a fix of Anthrax and Diamond Head in their pomp and the solos present on the song will be like a fine steak for fans eating at the restaurant of thrash. A high quality solo is also present on Envy The Dead, which sees Reign Of Fury dabbling more in the Skeletonwitch style of growled thrash vocals while maintaining a more classic sound with the guitar work.
Heaven Waits Hell Takes offers something slightly different, an eight minute epic with an intro bordering on Spanish classical guitar before heading into riff territory that sounds like offering a brief nod to Creeping Death before then launching into a full blown gallop. With it's cries of "weaker by design" and "god damn you" throughout this is a song that will almost demand audience participation if those present in a live setting can cease headbanging for long enough to sing along. The song also features a solo that sounds like the duelling guitars of a certain Iron Maiden in full flight, so that's something else to listen out for. Lead single Born To Die (Dying To Live) has the feel of a slightly more radio friendly Evile, and the chorus again will make this a singalong anthem for the band (make sure you check out the hilarious "sniper" music video for the song as well). The album's title track is another lengthy one at a shade under nine minutes but has enough about it to keep the listeners interest.
Approaching the end of the album, Vile Submission has something of a retro feel to it with an intro that wouldn't be out of place on a Journey song before the song kicks into gear and firmly back to thrash territory. It's another song that will engage the listener and you'll find yourself tapping and subtly banging your head before you know what's going on. Album closer The Hound grabs on instantly with its opening riff and drum beat combo and doesn't let go, taking the listener through two minutes of enjoyable riffs before the vocals kick in, with a slightly more melodic approach to the singing than on some of the other songs which works well. It might be the last track on the album but it still contains a face melting solo or three to go with it and it finishes the album off nicely.
From listening to vocalist M Bison Wrathbone I'd be amazed if Joey Belladonna isn't one of his singing heroes as there are similarities in their singing styles and pitch but having Joey Belladonna as an example to follow isn't a bad thing by any means! The rest of the band certainly aren't too shabby either when it comes to their technical skills.
World Detonation does not particularly break any new ground in spectacular fashion but what it does do is provide eight tracks of thoroughly satisfying classic thrash metal with some modern twists thrown in for good measure. This is a hugely promising full length debut and Reign Of Fury are definitely a band to keep your eye on.