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Basanos – Cracking The Sledge

Cracking The Sledge
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 05 December 2011, 11:44 PM

Thrash Metal has undergone so many changes since the late 90s when Hardcore and Grunge kicked in hard, also don’t forget the creation of Nu Metal. The birth of subjecting grooves within the palm muted driven riffs took this classic Metal subgenre into different areas that, in my opinion, haven’t always done justice to its legacy. The Austrian BASANOS, that began playing back in 2007, enslaved the Americanized version of the new found Thrash in the likes of late PANTERA, HATEBREED and LAMB OF GOD, and made the tough sound and aggressive nature into their own. “Cracking The Sledge”, via Noisehead Records, is their second album and this time it is a lot groovier, fists in the face and a new line-up that is officially making its debut run.

I was puzzled a bit when I read that BASANOS chose to ditch the second guitar post in order to let the band’s founder, Roman Skomar, to sink his teeth on everything heavily electric, whether rhythm and lead. Well, a band can sometimes settle for a single guitarist, but it can affect the music. Skomar, as it seemed from the album, didn’t conjure too many lead guitar plays as there were almost none here while the ones that did exist didn’t show something that interesting. Perhaps that fact paved the road for this album to sound more belligerent than the debut, yet maybe that fact also made “Cracking The Sledge” to end up monotonic on more than enough occasions and trust me that heavy rhythms are my thing.

“Cracking The Sledge” lacked something that might have driven it off being monotonic and that is even a little melodic sense or maybe a little diversity on the rhythms. Although “On My Way” has a great musical direction while converging BLACK SABBATH / DOWN modernized Southern manipulations right before it goes Thrash to the end with a blast to the face, most of the other tracks were in the same line that bands like LAMB OF GOD have already put up so many times. I know that BASANOS didn’t came to invent or reinvent but issuing stuff that others have already been yoking for years, that is another thing entirely.

Nonetheless, even with BASANOS being amazingly close to the American giant bands of the subgenre, that have made their toughness and eagerness to Thrash in their own way known. The bombastic “Control” and “See the Truth” alongside yet another special flavor of “Impressions” will show a well produced band along with a fierce and determine singer that just blisters himself up on every note he barks right off his iron lungs. In general, it seems like a hard working band and this is probably won’t be their final saying or screaming. I just feel that if a band like BASANOS will like to spice things up a bit, they should at least try to infuse some melodies and maybe some articulate soloing in order to make their bombardment even harder.

3 Star Rating

1. The Challenge
2. Control
3. Feed Us
4. Impressions
5. Break The Oath
6. Now
7. On My Way
8. Cracking The Sledge
9. Warfare
10. See the Truth
11. Aggressor
Jochen Hagl- Vocals
Roman Skomar- Guitar
Wolf-Dieter Vogl- Bass
Moritz Rauter- Drums
Record Label: Noisehead Records


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Edited 02 April 2023

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