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WHIPSTRIKER - Merciless Artillery

Release date March 9/18 (Hells Headbangers)

This is Whipstriker's fourth full length release, and a quick review of their three previous albums shows a band that has been constantly evolving over the first decade of their existence. From an initial full length release in 2010 (Crude Rock 'n' Roll) that sounded like, well, crude rock 'n' roll, these Brazilians are moving on into the realms of thrash and even black metal...and doing it well.

To these ears, this is what Possessed would sound like if Cronos from Venom decided to join them on vocals (courtesy of bassist/vocalist Whipstriker). While a couple of songs are almost homages to Venom (Mantas' Black Mass and Warspell), the remaining songs on this eight track release are of a faster variety, with an excellent, sometimes harmonious guitar sound from guitarists Witchcaptor and Doomhammer, reminiscent of the aforementioned Possessed.

The production isn't pristine, but that seems to be a common denominator on all of Whipstriker's releases. But then, this is still crude rock 'n' roll, so who cares? The only knock on the material is that the song writing could use some more hooks. While you will find yourself tapping your toes and bobbing your head to the songs as they play, it is hard to remember them when the music stops....right after the music stops. Still, all in all, an entertaining effort.


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