Speedwhore – Visions of a Parallel World (Dying Victims Productions)Monday, 22nd May 2023
Originally active from 2006-2013 as Speed Whöre (umlauts add that extra sinister touch), German band Speedwhore produce a primal, raw blackened thrash sound on their second-full length Visions of a Parallel World. Not that they’ve been idle in releases – consistently issuing singles, an EP, and a four-way split LP in the interim since 2015’s previous album The Future Is Now. Main bassist/vocalist Tim Kuntze revamped the lineup when moving to Berlin, filling things out with guitarists Alexander Pusch and Leonhard Link as well as drummer Marcel Cording – infiltrating your senses with nine more fiery tracks that encompass a love of everything from thrash to black metal beyond some traditional/NWOBHM measures when necessary.
Judas Priest/Iron Maiden mavens will rejoice to the headbanging rhythms and circular gallops that make “Hologram” an early standout – the straightforward up-tempo transition allowing Tim to unleash his best semi-growls plus ear-piercing Tom Araya-esque shrieks while the leads dazzle in frantic combinations of aural lightning. The primal tones plus primitive production values give Speedwhore a low-fi style where the drums crackle, the cymbals shake, and the bass thumps the chest as the guitars and vocals chase each other for heavy supremacy. It’s as if these musicians studied from the greats like early Venom or Sodom but didn’t forget to inject their passion for great traditional metal (or doom in the case of “Heir to the Ruby Throne”). While most of the record contains metal to the bones material, the band isn’t opposed to throwing down a more eerie offering like “Decrypted Prophecies” that contains a horror-like atmosphere for the first half before gaining momentum. Saving the longest cut for last, the title track is a 7:42-oriented extravaganza that fills your head with Mercyful Fate-like movements against some blackened speed riffs and ominous moans/growls.
Speedwhore seem like the kind of band that plugs in and plays with the same fervor and wild abandon as a lot of mid-80’s burgeoning thrash artists – yet careful to place those prime-time hooks/runs in all the correct places.