Thrash has been gimmicked and manipulated so many times that at times I find it hard to separate each band from each other, and even worse, I’m pretty sure what the ‘’Old school thrash’’ sounded like, that was, until Belgium’s most latter brigands knocked against my door. Belgium was a chest full of treasures in the past, housing great old school acts like Patriarch, Target, Cyclone and Yosh, but let us put all those aside, for Xpulsion sound nothing like their forefathers and fellow countryman, driving their crusty edge towards the classic Bay Area sound with a tinge of vicious 80’s speed/thrash, and their demo, ‘’War Is Imminent’’ bears for tracks encrusted of atomic aggression and sordid chugging, nothing more, nothing less.
I’m actually quite content with the ‘’old school’ worshiping done here, because melodic and modern thrash is becoming an increasingly popular trend these days, and one which just does not boast the family name. Technical/progressive elements have been scattered throughout the majority of the scene forcing them to slowly bend their knee to it, omitting the rigorous and sordid sound of the 80’s and early 90’s, and even when a band can join gritty guitar tones with propulsive, interactive textures, the execution is not done properly for the most part, and the experiment finalizes itself miserably once again. The number of thrash bands who take their job seriously have also diminished rapidly over the years, and so, many of the acts sew old school traits together are obsessed with beer and party, resulting in yet another fail. Xpulsion, however, sound surprisingly solid and crunchy for one that looks exactly like its peers, but looking down, with only a few minor tweaks and adjustments, the frantic spectrum of riffs expand into a much more versatile and savage nature, disentangling itself from the cheesy roots it was once plagued with.
Honestly, it’s not an arduous job to carve out these riffs, because they lack for originality and the song writing process obviously did not take too long, but there’s a really propulsive spray of callous riffs, sharp and fresh, so you really can’t go wrong with these four songs. Influences are blatant as well, as the band hints the massive Exodus and Slayer influences quite frequently, but while you indulge yourself into the record, you’ll also notice a nice speed/thrash touch, forcing the album to sometimes take angular, sharp turns and twists. The four songs are packed with such massive and piercing riffs, but what surprised me is that the songs rang at over five minutes each, with two of them pending at eight minutes. This demo is fresh and dynamic, constant and shattering, and it sticks to the ‘’old school’’ sound of thrash (which is a notion I find queer), and while it’s devoid of the technical prowess that it requires to reach another level, it’ll punch through your skull with ease.
Welcome To Yourself