Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Amok-Somewhere In The West

Witches Brew

Hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, with the fifty-three minute-plus "Somewhere In The West" serving as their second full-length album, Amok are a five-piece speed metal/thrash metal that was formed in 2004 by guitarists Calum Henderson and Greg Corlett. Between 2004 and 2007 the band, which is lead by Stephen Matulevicze (here sounding for all the world like a rougher Joey Belladonna), released a total of five demos before (initially) self-releasing their debut album "Downhill Without Breaks" in 2008. Enter Germany's Witches Brew who snagged and bagged the group before re-releasing Amok's first album in February of 2009. Fast forward some four years and finally, after what one would assume was some serious prodding from their record label, we get the ten-track "Somewhere In The West". With Keith Henderson and Matt Storry (bass and drums respectively) serving as the last-two pieces of this thrash metal puzzle Amok, whose (staring down the barrel of a gun!) sound takes it's cue from not only (early) Anthrax, but bands like Exodus, Megadeth, Toxik and Sacred Reich, tear the lid off of cuts like "Creature Of Habit", "No Faith" and "Lawbreakers" and don't ease up on the peddle until the very last notes of "Lost Generation"! Recorded between February and July of 2013 at Amok HQ, Hamilton, Scotland the album, which was originally released back in late November of last year, is filled with Anthrax-style technical thrash ("Somewhere In The West", "Creature Of Habit", ), but it also pushes the envelope towards the band's earlier years as a brutal thrash band ("Uprise", "Cover Your Tracks") making it all the more enjoyable. For sure this is one old-school speed metal/thrash metal-influenced/infused act and Amok makes no bones about where their sound comes from or where they want to take it! Dead-set on releasing heavier then hell metal Amok kicks the crap out of the modern metal scene as evident by tracks like "Sixty-Eight" and  "Make Time To Kill" (a Anthrax meets Metallica cut that simply shreds!). With the over six minutes long "Lost Generation" serving as the end credits for "Somewhere In The West", and doing it in a manor that should make fans of Bay Area thrash melt with pride, Amok has manged to unleash a beast of a release with their sophomore recording. Had I heard this one before serving up my best of 2013 list there's no doubt that it would have made the cut! If we're to talk about retro-themed metal acts then for old-school speed metal and thrash fanatics it would be hard to find a better album to recommend then this one. Definitely worth hunting down folks!

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