With their heart in the past but their eyes on the future, these Brits join Power Trip in the latest wave of killer 21st-century thrash bands
thIrty-fIve years have
passed since Metallica released the gamechanging Kill ’Em All, and yet thrash still shows no signs of losing its potency. With a sound that cleverly blends the best of the old school with the kind of precise, deathly aggression that is winningly post-millennial, British fourpiece reprisal are much more than just another scruffy mob in exodus cut-offs. Their full-length debut, None Survive The Sun, is a reminder that when thrash is done right, there’s nothing else like it.
“It gets shit for all sounding the same but thrash is deceptively diverse,” states bassist Theo Brooke. “It forms the backbone of all extreme music and that makes it adaptable. If you want to go old school and have soaring vocals and dual guitars, you can. If you want to push the hardcore influence, you can do that. If you want to be weird as fuck, you can be Coroner! We describe our sound as brutal thrash, but ‘death-thrash’ will do. We’re paying homage to the bands we love, not just regurgitating their music.”
reprisal have incorporated elements of other metallic substrains into their blistering anthems, and it’s all come out thrillingly fresh and distinctive.
It’s a thrash record with a deathly undertow, both musically and lyrically.
“The record’s theme is death. It was probably best to start with something that’ll always be relevant!” notes Theo. “Firstly, universal death and cosmic indifference: this has become a popular idea, probably because the internet made us realise our own minuscule importance relative to other people, let alone to vast, empty space. Secondly, it’s about being aware that you’re a fragile, temporary blood-bag. everything is collapsing towards a single point but despite existing somewhere in that slow, cumulative nothing, I happily believe in the significance of daily life.”
Thrash metal just makes life worth living. And if anyone needs additional incentive to give reprisal a go, the new album’s stunning artwork should do it. Created by the legendary Dan Seagrave, whose work has adorned countless classic metal records including those by Morbid Angel, Suffocation and Carnage, it’s further evidence that this band have the whole world in their sights.
“Dan still does things by hand, which gives it that feeling of being tactile and alive,” Theo concludes of the album’s art and how it fits into the reprisal ethos. “A lot of people are going to encounter the album cover while scrolling through the endless stream of gym pictures, inspirational quotes and people lying about their lives on the internet, so that ‘realness’ becomes valuable. hopefully more eyes on the album means more ears on it, too!”
“THRASH FORmS THE BACKBONE OF ALL EXTREmE mUSIC”
reprisal: breathing new life into thrash