Thicket – Descend into Darkness (Self-Released)Tuesday, 10th September 2019
There’s something about younger bands releasing EP’s these days – putting their heart and soul (and production funds) into shorter bursts of material to keep the interest afloat on a quicker schedule. Thicket hail from Orlando, Florida – and Descend into Darkness is the quartet’s third EP since 2015. Striving to balance the velocity and energy of thrash metal with some modern nuances and influences, they possess a potent attack that should have multi-generational appeal.
Gang vocals that run riff to riff with the active proceedings can also twist an arrangement that contains slower, clean guitar activities where the lead breaks possess more of a melodic meets shred gameplan – check out “Isolation” for all aspects, while the mid-tempo, crunchy grooves penetrate the follow-up “Fall of Illusion”. Jake Jordan as a vocalist has a fierce, militant bark – modeling veterans like Max of Soulfly or David from Revocation, setting up entertaining rhythms and twin harmonies guitar-wise with his cohort Kevin Webb throughout these seven tracks. It’s obvious sometimes that specific runs pay homage to classic Metallica (the opening sequence for the 5:41 instrumental “Penance” aligns well with Master of Puppets-era), but then the band are able to inject a bit of progressive, jazzy musicianship and solid groove mechanics to gain that modern stomp and dynamic aural finesse necessary to become distinctive as artists. These musicians are adept at finding the right hook/groove combinations and building them outward and upward for branches that keep the listener on a heightened state of awareness – even with the clean background vocal supplementation that appears in spots on a highlight track like “Death’s Embrace”. At this point it’s hard to push Thicket in one specific category, as this material goes from traditional and groove metal to progressive and thrash- sometimes intertwining multiple aspects in the same arrangement for maximum headbanging pleasure.
Thicket can deliver the goods in a diverse package of material for Descend into Darkness. Straddling older Metallica/Testament influences with some Death, Revocation, and Avenged Sevenfold aspects allows the band to keep things interesting, and as such should gain them credibility with teens as well as the forty-somethings and above.