BLACK FAST

Power Trip may have kicked the door down for thrash’s next wave, but Black Fast are tak­ing it to gnarlier new realms

Metal Hammer (UK) - - New Noise | Skynd - WORDS: DOM LAW­SON

FROM ME­TAL­LICA to Mu­nic­i­pal Waste, thrash me­tal has been the boil­ing-hot lifeblood of our world for more than three decades now. Un­like many sub­gen­res, how­ever, thrash never seems to run out of creative steam or suf­fer from a lack of fresh takes on that orig­i­nal, im­mac­u­late blue­print. Hail­ing from St. Louis, Mis­souri, and armed with more face-slic­ing riffs than any­one could pos­si­bly need, Black Fast may not be rein­vent­ing the wheel, but their ra­bid, swivel-eyed and dis­tinctly grubby ap­proach to thrash fuck­ing me­tal is an in­vig­o­rat­ing slap around the face none­the­less. So far, the band have found that pretty much ev­ery­one is en­joy­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence.

“Let’s just say that over the last three or four years, we haven’t run into a lot of rooms that hated us!” laughs gui­tarist and front­man Aaron Akin. “We’ve played with var­i­ous kinds of bands and there’s usu­ally a cross­over ap­peal or con­nec­tion.”

In the same way Power Trip have en­deared them­selves to Eu­ro­pean au­di­ences with a sound that is both fresh and fa­mil­iar, Black Fast do ev­ery­thing that we re­quire a thrash me­tal band to do, but with­out ever los­ing their own dis­tinc­tive vibe. New al­bum Spec­tre Of Ruin owes an un­de­ni­able debt to the Ger­man thrash scene of the 80s, but there are lots of other, less eas­ily iden­ti­fied in­flu­ences be­ing hurled into the deaf­en­ing mael­strom, too.

“I come from Van Halen, Me­tal­lica, Pantera and Slayer, but by about ninth grade I was lis­ten­ing to more Eu­ro­pean stuff,” Aaron re­calls. “I was heav­ily into Kreator as a teenager. Trevor [Jo­han­son, gui­tar] pretty much ex­clu­sively lis­tened to [Dimmu-af­fil­i­ated black met­allers] Old Man’s Child when he was de­liv­er­ing pizza in high school. He was ter­ri­fy­ing the neigh­bour­hood! Ha ha ha! But the truth is that we don’t have any re­stric­tions.”

As AAron ex­plAins,

he and Trevor have been jam­ming to­gether for the best part of a decade. Black Fast was formed in 2010, with no ex­pec­ta­tions beyond mak­ing some cool mu­sic and jam­ming with friends. After re­leas­ing a de­but EP in 2011 and first al­bum Starv­ing Out The Light in 2013, the band’s mu­sic started to be mut­tered about in mu­sic in­dus­try cir­cles. Much to their sur­prise, Black Fast were snapped up by big in­die im­print eOne Mu­sic, home to nu­mer­ous mod­ern me­tal acts, but ar­guably not the most ob­vi­ous fit for Aaron’s evil thrash crew.

“I was to­tally shocked and didn’t re­ally even know what that was gonna mean!” he says, chuck­ling at the mem­ory. “It was so far out­side of what we set out to do, you know? We’d still be do­ing the same thing in our lit­tle town, record­ing EPs at our lo­cal stu­dio. But it’s a very for­tu­nate event that it did hap­pen, be­cause we’ve had all these op­por­tu­ni­ties that we oth­er­wise wouldn’t have had.”

The im­mi­nent re­lease of Spec­tre Of Ruin looks cer­tain to push Black Fast fur­ther to­wards the me­tal main­stream, but don’t ex­pect the band to com­pro­mise on the bru­tal­ity of their mu­sic or the bleak and bruis­ing ethos that lurks within it. Black Fast’s core mes­sage seems to be that mankind will in­evitably de­stroy it­self and we prob­a­bly de­serve it. As ever, thrash con­tin­ues to hit the nail on the head like noth­ing else.

“If you take a broad view of it, what I try to do is paint an im­age of de­spair in gen­eral,” he states. “It’s not po­lit­i­cal and it’s not nec­es­sar­ily about any­thing that’s hap­pen­ing right now. I’m say­ing that the whole pic­ture is aw­ful. Any­thing crazy hap­pen­ing now is just val­i­dat­ing what I’m say­ing and prob­a­bly con­nect­ing dots for peo­ple. Mankind will prob­a­bly de­stroy it­self.”

Black Fast: no com­pro­mise,no re­stric­tions

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