Night Slasher – Night Slasher (Sliptrick Records)Friday, 9th February 2024
Originally going by Alcotopia for almost a decade, Lithuania’s Night Slasher brandish a blackened speed metal mix through this self-titled debut record. Adorning leather, chains, corpse paint while holding fiery torches in their promotional material, these eight songs roll out in raw forms, where the blackened screams send chills through the airwaves, the guitar work piercing next to a bass/drum tandem that goes from broke any chance they can.
Speedy, spiderweb-like riffs often appear throughout specific tracks that conjure influences from the early Iron Maiden meets Metallica-eras – evident immediately in the melodic twists for “Black Trip” while the lead break sections are frantic to the point of almost falling off the rails. Vocalist Laurynas Karka roars in a bestial manner, often using enhanced reverb to create more darkness through his delivery – amplifying the energetic foundation for songs like “Clyster Lizard” on through to the savage, heads down monster “Ablaze” where bassist Tomas Ivanovas and drummer Dmitrijus Matvejevas comfortably shift from speed to black and traditional lines without missing a gap in the transitional passages. There’s no mistaking the style on hand when you look purely at “Liver Ripper” or closer “Satan In the Hall” as album titles – the former containing some more creepy, clean vocals during the verses to amp up the eerie proceedings. Attention to the smaller details remains key to connection for this record – as speedy as it can be in certain parts, the band always balance things out with mid-tempo or more traditional-oriented sequences that contain the right catchy, earworm factor to ensure maximum retention appeal. The destruction scene on the cover may seem a little left of center compared to what you expect of the music contents – but it fits the group’s blackened speed/traditional metal style.
Adequate songwriting, delightful lead play, solid rhythm section versatility – Night Slasher possess the ideal skills to make a move up the underground ranks if they continue the path started through this self-titled effort. One to watch.