Vindicator - There Will Be Blood (Independent) 2008
1. "Fresh Outta Hell" (3:19)
2. "New Clear Assault" (3:33)
3. "Deathfront Demons" (3:47)
4. "Hallow's Eve" (4:18)
5. "Pain And Suffering" [instrumental] (1:31)
6. "Shrapnel" (2:43)
7. "Thrash And Destroy" (3:17)
8. "Vindicator" (3:26)
9. "Gore Orphanage" (2:54)
10. "There Will Be Blood" (3:30)
11. "Mouthdictator" (1:59)
Thrash has made a screaming comeback since around 2005. Tons of new bands are popping up. Vindicator are one such band. While many of these bands seem to be coming from the West Coast, USA, Vindicator hail from the Cleveland, Ohio area. Their sound comes straight out of 1985 and is pure thrash metal. What Vindicator seems to have going for them that a lot of other retro thrash bands do not is that they know how to write songs that have memorable hooks. Many thrash bands seem to be playing thrash for thrash sake. Vindicator incorporate plenty of speed and thrash-mosh ethic, but "There Will Be Blood" doesn't drag on like on long song either. Songs like "Hallows Eve", "Thrash and Destroy", "Shrapnel" and "Gore Orphanage" all have enough distinction that you would mix them up. Basically, while Vindicator will no doubt be thrown into the "thrash revival" or "retro thrash" category, there is something unique about their sound as well. The band's influences seem to reach outside the whole Bay Area sound and also incorporates influences from the early 90's German thrash sound, speed metal bands like Realm and Toxik and perhaps even a bit of good old classic heavy metal. "New Clear Assault" and "Vindicator" may even have some influences, as the chant along songs are certainly delivered with a punk-like fury. All these influences together may be what gives the band their distinction, as opposed to the hordes of bands trying to sound like early Exodus and Metallica.
Bassist/vocalist Marshall Law growls in a higher register yelp reminiscent of Mille Petrozza meets shout and scream tactics Paul Baloff. His voice really adds to the bands sound rather than being an annoyance. The production is a bit raw, as might be expected for an independent band, but the production certainly isn't poor either. Actually, not unlike many of the early 80's bands, I think the raw sound works in the bands favor.
The lyrics are really the only place the band seems to purposely fall into place with every other thrash revival band. Much of their lyrical themes seem to be tongue-in-cheek. With song titles like "Fresh Outta Hell" and "Thrash and Destroy", they obviously aren't trying to convey any real deep messages. The album finishes off with a hidden track titled "Mouthdictator" which is a silly acappella thing, proving once again that Vindicator are a band that enjoys what they do and don't take themselves all too seriously.
Vindicator / Metal Witch- Outbreak of Metal Vol. I (Slaney Records) 2009
Had just recently discovered Vindicator, having saw them perform at a local club. The band was tight and cranked out some crunchy thrash metal with a slight punk edge. I picked up their CD debut from their merchandise table, but noticed that there was a different line-up. I spoke to the band shortly after and they informed me of this release with the new line-up. This split EP features six "new" songs from Vindicator, including two cover songs. I am quite familiar with the Anti-Nowhere League song. Their version cranks up the thrash just like many of the 80's thrash bands use to do with classic punk songs. The "U.S.S.A." song I was less familiar with, but it's an equally good song with a big slight against the US government. The other four songs are all new and are prime thrash metal. Many of the new crop of thrash metal bands seem to be "thrash for thrash sake". In other words, it's speed and attitude over songwriting. Wile I can certainly appreciate the retro-thrash movement, I think bands like Vindicator have something many of the other bands don't have, they know how to write a hook. Classic bands like Slayer, Anthrax and Exodus knew how to do this. They delivered fast, crunchy thrash, but there was also something memorable about the songs as well. All four original songs included here are prime thrash metal delivered with a punk fury that made me smile as I recalled seeing the band on stage. Vindicator can certainly deliver the goods.
Also included on this split EP is Metal Witch, a European band that apparently formed in the 80's broke up for a spell and reformed in 1997. With a long history dating back to the 80's, I was surprised to find out that this is only the band's second release, their first being "Risen from the Grave" from 2008. Their style is a bit less frantic than Vindicator and has a sound that mixes thrash with a classic NWOBHM influence. The vocals are a bit more gruff and grating, which gives the band even more distinction from the preceding Vindicator tracks. First track, "Believe in the Power of Rock", reminded me of the School of Rock movie, not because of the music but because of the title. The song delivers a heavy assault of classic heavy metal with a big hook. Likewise, "Valley of the Kings" is a fast, heavy song with a killer hook that rides a fence between traditional metal and thrash. This song reminds me a bit of classic Metal Church. I wouldn't be surprised if this EP didn't do quite well for the band.
"Outbreak of Metal Vol. 1" is the first release from the newly formed Slaney Records. I look forward to more great thrash and classic metal from this label in the future.
Vindicator - The Antique Witcheries (Heavy Artillery Records) 2010
1. The Succubus (:59)
2. Sleeping with Evil (3:40)
3. Hockey Stick Vengeance (3:42)
4. New Clear Assault (End of an Error) (4:12)
5. Destruction of Justice [instrumental] (4:51)
6. Rampage [demo] (3:29)
7. Vindicator [live] (3:08)
Vindicator are one of the unsung heroes of the New Wave of Thrash Metal movement. "Sleeping With Evil" is a seven-song EP containing a live track, a demo of "Rampage", four new songs and a minute-long intro. The live track is a bit of a throw-away but the rest of the EP is darned good. As might be expected Vindicator do not deviate from what they are known for, head-crushing thrash metal! From the opening moments of the title track, through the wickedly heavy "Hockey Stick Vengeance" through the cleverly titled "New Clear Assault: End Of An Error", through the instrumental "Destruction of Justice", the thrash metal vengeance never lets up. The demo of "Rampage" is a nice inclusion, though as might be expected the production quality drops for this song. The finals track is a bootleg-ish live version of the band's eponymous song. Unfortunately the production on this song is terrible. However, this track is merely a bonus track tacked onto the end of an excellent four song EP. Those four tracks are worth the price of admission alone.