Quasarborn – A Pill Hard to Swallow (Self-Released)

Monday, 27th January 2020
Rating: 9/10

Forming from the ashes of Space Eater, Quasarborn have been together since 2016, a Serbian quartet that live for a bit of technicality against their melodic thrash ways for album two A Pill Hard to Swallow. Over the course of these ten tracks you’ll get the chance to hear aspects of the US and European thrash outlooks, stirring in some crunchy riffs and nifty intricacies and progressive activities to elevate the musicianship and arrangements to a higher level than most conventional acts. It makes for an entertaining and varied listen playback after playback, as assuredly the consumer will continually find new aspects to latch onto and dig deeper for retention’s sake.

On the surface the tones, aggression, and attitude scream a mixture of Bay Area and Teutonic influences – you’ll hear aspects that ring true to fans of Exodus, Testament, and Kreator for sure when songs like “Atlas” and the title track whirl by. Yet there’s that added extra dimension of shifting tempos, gallops, or progressive guitar transitions and nuances where you can tell these musicians know a bit of Heathen, Cyclone Temple, Iced Earth, and others where pushing the boundaries of intricacy and technicality take shape. It’s evident right out of the gate for “Mamula” as the up and down chord manipulation takes place against the solid grooves and double kick speed proclivities, and the nine-minute plus “Stalemate with Suicide” showcases every facet of the Quasarborn playbook, from a serene clean, emotionally-driven beginning through power riffs, extra brass horn activities, and lead harmony breaks that could be another singalong aspect when aired live. Even the stunted vocals during the chorus of closer “The Humbling” work – because it emphasizes the twisted feel the band wish to achieve, while the main vocals match the maniacal, progressive nature and gripping attack of the riffs, hooks, and melodies.

Over the course of 49 minutes, A Pill Hard to Swallow contains the right balance of melodic thrash and superior technical elements, sure to catch the wide array of consumers that want a bit more musicianship and challenge for their money. Quasarborn deliver on all fronts and should be a band to really keep an eye on.

Quasarborn official website