SPACE EATER
"After Shock"

(Stormspell)

01. Say Your Prayers
02. Abort
03. Divide & Conquer
04. Up on These Shores
05. FAA
06. Qauntum Leap
07. No Retreat
08. Crush, Kill, Destroy
09. Anti-Psychiatry
10. Relationshit

RATING: 8.5/10

Anyone else think "SPACE HEATER" when they read SPACE EATER? Neither here nor there I know. What you stand to find out is something that thus far many have completely overlooked since SPACE EATER doesn't have a hype machine behind it, the kind of machine that churns out so much, often hollow, praise for "retro" thrash acts. "After Shock" is one of the best pure thrash metal albums released in 2010; not because of original songwriting or stylistic genius, but rather that SPACE EATER does what it does exceedingly well and leaves you gasping for air after the final notes have been played.

Not residents of the Bay Area nor inhabitants of Canadian or German thrash metal breeding grounds, the members of SPACE EATER call Serbia home, making the story that much more interesting. Where the rubber hits the road is the music and "After Shock" is a front-to-back barn burner in that respect. The tempo is set to "high speed" on opener "Say Your Prayers" and pretty much stays that way for the duration. Buzzsawing riffs, clanging bass, and galloping rhythms are tightly wound into breakneck speedsters that are reminiscent at times of FLOTSAM AND JETSAM's classic early works and more often as though VIO-LENCE and TOXIK mutated into a dangerously new and utterly catchy form of thrash species. This is some furious stuff to be sure.

The vocals are noteworthy both for the style and the man delivering them, as vocal tracks from the late Boško Radišiæ, who died in a fire, were taken from 2009 demo recordings. His enunciation and frantic, yet precise and decipherable lines have just as much to do with the impact made on "After Shock" and are one reason for the TOXIK comparisons. As it turns out, the two tracks with vocals from guitarist Luka Matkoviæ"Anti-Psychiatry" with its memorable gang shout chorus and semi-tech thrasher "Relationshit" — are the two of the best on the album, although the margins are thin since you'll not find a chink in the armor of any of these songs. That "Relationshit" closes the album could be indicative of a future expansion of the band's sound with its MEGADETH-like riff structures and vocal patterns mixed with the fundamentals established on the previous tracks. It's different enough to be notable, yet not so much as to seem out of place. It's a great way to end a great thrash metal album. Seek out "After Shock". You can actually believe the hype this time.

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