Space Chaser – Give Us Life (Metal Blade)

Thursday, 8th July 2021
Rating: 8.5/10

Next to America, German thrash has always been a mainstay in this scribe’s listening playbook. Excitement always enters when finding another group from this land – as you have here for Space Chaser. Arriving in 2011 and releasing two full-lengths for domestic label This Charming Man Records plus EP’s and a split effort with Dutch act Distillator (now known as Cryptosis), the quintet gains a significant boost in profile by signing with Metal Blade for this third album Give Us Life. One can expect precise, stacked rhythms, a mix of aggression and stellar melodic sensibilities plus strong lead breaks and versatile vocals that align well with more of the Bay Area brethren from the 80’s/early 90’s than their own domestic output.

Titles such as “Cryoshock” and “Antidote to Order” espouse the band’s sci-fi/dystopian views, while musically hammering home sinister stop/start riffs, energetic drumming, and a pumping low end bass philosophy. Key words and phrases get proper shouting support, these musicians well aware of the balance between catchy refrains and off the charts pounding material that brings up everyone from Exodus, Testament, Overkill, and Death Angel to mind. Extending outside influences in spots with punk, hardcore, or death accents allows Space Chaser to enhance their thrash approach. Check out the secondary tremolo picking in spots for “A.O.A.” or the circular progressive edge to “Burn Them All” to appreciate the extra intricacies and musical chops that put this band into another category for execution and conviction. Where these Germans set themselves apart from normal thrash acts is the unique power/fierce duality within the pipes of vocalist Siegfried Rudzynski. He can convey a mixture of Bobby Blitz and Russ Anderson as far as grit and pipes, creating chilling and tantalizing moments during “Remnants of Technology” as well as the stomping mid-tempo title cut.

Debate all you will about whether any of the newer thrash bands can ever hold a candle to what was created by the original brigade, but thrash has now moved beyond its resurrection into being a steady, viable force of metal. Give Us Life from Space Chaser has all the makings of keeping most ardent followers for thrash headbanging, stage diving, slamming into each other, only clamoring for more.

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