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Mezzrow – Then Came The Killing (Reissue)

Mezzrow
Then Came The Killing (Reissue)
by Oli Gonzalez at 13 June 2022, 5:54 AM

What do you think of when you think of thrash metal? Hard hitting riffs, blazing solos, lightning speed? Maybe bullet belts, patch jackets, and the long hair. The whole movement can be traced back to the Bay Area, California, in the early 1980s. However, MEZZROW were also part an early movement at the same time in their native Sweden. “Then Came The Killing” was one of their seminal works and this year the band have re-released and re-mastered to provide a modern twist.

The first two songs in (“Then Came The Killing”, “Ancient Terror”), I’m definitely getting an early METALLICA style vibe. I’m seeing all the elements you’d expect from a thrash metal record. Whether it’s the simple yet brutal guitar riffs, blazing solos, or double bass drumming, MEZZROW definitely do themselves justice here. They even slip in a cheeky bass solo here and there. That being said, I wonder what is separating them from the multiple other thrash metal bands out there. That bass definitely gets a good run out in “The Final Holocaust” and is almost a led instrument at some points. That’s refreshing. There’s some absolutely tremendous guitar work on display too, especially during the extended solo. No fancy BS, simply prioritising emotion over needless complexity. That’s also how I would describe the next song too, “Frozen Soul”. I do find myself being drawn to the lyrics and wanting to find out about the story behind this song. That’s a good sign. There’s another delightful solo too. Maybe this is what’s making this album different from other thrash albums; this melodic component. “Distant Death” certainly has an infectious groove, so much so that although the song washed over me a little, I found myself involuntarily tapping my feet along, doing some air double bass kicking. That song’s definitely done its job.

The next two songs, I won’t lie, seemingly blend into one another. That’s not to say “Prevention Necessary” or “Where Death Begins” are bad songs. I think they’d be fantastic introductions and gateway songs to thrash. Things are sadly too repetitive here however. There was welcome change of tempo at the beginning of “The Cross Of Torment”, which was frankly much needed. Then it returns to the same formula for the first few songs. What’s making this album different at this point? I was thinking we need a slower melodic passage, something to break things up. That’s exactly what we got in “Inner Devastation”. This was delightful! Honestly. It was almost psychedelic in parts, healing in some ways. Healing from the 40 minutes or so of thrash metal onslaught we’ve just endured! I would have liked the album to end there. However, when the speedier trash returns, you can truly feel and appreciate that intensity. It makes me wonder why they couldn’t have included this more progressive edge right from the beginning!

Overall, I’d say this a good solid thrash metal album and would serve as a gateway for many newcomers to the genre. That being said, more variety in composition is needed for this to be a stand out.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Then Came The Killing
2. Ancient Terror
3. The Final Holocaust
4. Frozen Soul
5. Distant Death
6. Prevention Necessary
7. Where Death Begins
8. The Cross Of Torment
9. Inner Devastation
Lineup:
Zebba - Guitars
Conny - Bass
Steffe – Drums
Uffe - Vocals
Record Label: Hammerheart Records
     


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