Death Thrash is a strange genre. It mixes Death Metal and Thrash Metal (duh), two very popular genres, but somehow nobody gives a crap about it. Sure, The Haunted were successful enough, but which other Death Thrash band can you name?
A genre that mixes two successful genres should have produced some amazing bands, right? I mean, it even sounds good on paper. Mixing Thrash with Death Metal just makes too much sense. Except The Haunted, no band of that style really got off the ground, but it produced some rough diamonds.
The band that I’ve always associated with Death Thrash, even more so than The Haunted, is Hatesphere. Not necessarily because I rate them higher (even though I do), but because they were the first band that introduced me to the style. I’ve seen them open for Chimaira and Dark Tranquillity in 2005, and they easily blew both of the following bands away. Why? Jacob Bredahl.
Jacob “Dr. J” Bredahl (pictured above) used to front Hatesphere from 2001 until 2007. He’s probably the most charismatic frontman I’ve ever witnessed live, and he sings with an intensity unmatched. He just seems to put everything into his vocals. Everytime, on every song.
I’ve been following Bredahl’s work since then. Be it with Hatesphere, Allhelluja or, most recently, The Kandidate (formerly called The Downward Candidate).
The Kandidate has just released the follow-up to their debut album, Until We Are Outnumbered, earlier this year, called Facing the Imminent Prospect of Death on Napalm Records. While The Kandidate doesn’t have the same effect on me than Hatesphere has had, it’s a band that I’d like to see more successful. But there obviously isn’t a big market for Death Thrash, or is there?
Back to Hatesphere. After Bredahl, and everyone else in the band, was fired by guitarist Peter “Pepe” Lyse Hansen, the band welcomed a completely different line-up. This line-up produced the flop To The Nines in 2009. At that time, I’ve lost interest in the band completely.
After dropping even more bandmembers, they’ve finally found a worthy replacement for Jacob Bredahl in Esben “Esse” Elnegaard Kjaer Hansen. Worthy because he sounds just like Bredahl, which he proved on The Great Bludgeoning (released in 2011 on Napalm Records).
I’ve actually just found out about The Great Bludgeoning a couple of weeks ago, which proves to me that there isn’t just no market for Death Thrash, there’s also barely any coverage of the scene. The album does come close to earlier material, and picks the band up from the ground after the boring To The Nines.
So with The Kandidate and Hatesphere, there are at least two great Death Thrash bands out there, that need more attention. Even as someone who really likes three bands of the scene (including The Haunted), I can’t even name a fourth one. I could name a few that could come close to being labelled Death Thrash (Tenet, Necroid, Untimely Demise, Maze of Torment, etc.), but they all seem to lean more to one of the two genres, rather than combining both.
Does that mean that Death Thrash is dead? Or does it just mean that I’m not informed enough? Was Death Thrash ever really alive to begin with? Or were there just a few bands who gave their best playing the best of both worlds?
I could name a factor for the commercial failure of the genre, with Metalcore’s rise, a genre that comes close to Death Thrash but without the more extreme parts. Further dissecting the if’s and when’s would take too long though. I’ll just leave you with the latest music video by The Kandidate, and a song from Hatesphere’s new album after the jump. Enjoy what’s left.
Image credit: Lykke Nielsen
The Kandidate – Let The Maggots Have It
Hatesphere – Need To Kill