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Rascal – Headed for Destruction Award winner

Headed for Destruction
by Mark Machlay at 16 March 2021, 8:39 AM

Relatively fresh-faced Polish speed metal group RASCAL have released their first crop of music with their blisteringly fast 5-song EP “Headed for Destruction”. While the beginnings of the band trace back to the start of 2019, for most of the group, this isn’t their first attempt at metal fame. Most of the members were playing with another heavy metal band with a difficult vocalist. So, they kicked him out, guitarist Maciek Zybura had already been preparing some material, were lucky to find vocalist Kacper Pedziszewski and started gigging and writing, now under the name RASCAL. It’s a quite a random pairing of individuals, the band admits. They originally knew each other primarily through the internet and come from many different cities and backgrounds around Poland. For some this is their first band ever, while others have some experience in other bands in differing styles from classic heavy metal to old school thrash metal.

Originally, the band had every intent to release their material independently. The band were already hard at work preparing for the first EP all on their own but they were lucky to have Mateusz, owner of Ossuary Records, in the audience for one of their live shows. Singing for a band that was playing the same gig as them, the record producer reached out to them out of the blue and asked if they would be interested in releasing some music under his label. They prefer the DIY approach as it would give them more control but they knew they would never reach the audience they desired if they were not signed to a label. They are more equipped now to catch the wave of the current trend of speed metal while bringing their eclectic musical taste of the individual band members with lyrics that focus primarily on social, political and psychological issues giving their musical message more serious weight and legitimacy.

What is clear from the start, these boys are young, fast and hungry. The whole record has a vibe like METALLICA’s first album “Kill ‘Em All”. It was rough but it sure was full of aggression, fire and energy. From the first pick slide into title track opener “Headed Towards Destruction” you know just what you’re in for. Pedziszewski’s vocals are amazing, reaching into the stratosphere into nearly the highs of KING DIAMOND but can get gritty and hungry like Joey Belladonna of ANTHRAX, this kid has pipes, great vibrato and evenness of tone. He definitely elevates the band to even bigger heights. The riff work of Wiazowski and Zybura is pretty amazing as well. The main hook of the title track is really catchy, driving and just played cool and clean, the transition between notes is seamless. I’m honestly not sure if it’s the production or the playing but their guitar wizardry is just so clean it’s a pleasure to listen them weave a riff. The one detraction is sometimes the lead tone can sound a bit overproduced and “video-gamey” when they are flying through their solos, but that may be a personal preference. I like hearing a little grit in my lead tone. Another downside, it’s much too short! Only five songs and three out of the four are under two minutes. These boys are going places. Things may be shut down for live shows right now, but the dozen shows they managed to get in their native Poland were all well-received so I’m sure with a record and a bunch of crazy metal fans stuck at home with new material, they’ll have made many a new fan when they return.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Headed Towards Destruction
2. After the Sunset
3. Don’t Look Back
4. Hold the Line
5. Kingdom of Misery
Krytian Grobel – Bass
Krzysztof Kaminski – Drums
Adrian Wiazowski – Guitars
Maciek Zybura – Guitars
Kacper Pedziszewski – Vocals
Record Label: Ossuary Records


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Edited 24 September 2021

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