I've been an obsessed hard rock/heavy metal fan and collector since the early 1980s. If it's got a good guitar riff and attitude, I'm in.
Unforeseen Consequences by Terravore
- Country: Bulgaria
- Style: '80s Thrash/Death Metal
- Label: Stormspell Records
- Release: Spring 2018
- Tracks: 9
- Run Time: 45:32
Stormspell Records' promotional materials for this album describe Terravore as "classic thrash-o-death metal" and proclaim them to be "Eastern Europe's answer to Kreator, Revenant, Brutality, etc."
I have to admit that I was particularly surprised to see a comparison to Revenant, who are a fairly obscure band name to be dropping in this day and age. I remember them because they were from my local area (Northern New Jersey) and they opened shows for pretty much every thrash and death metal band that came through town during their heyday in the late-'80s/early-'90s. Was Revenant particularly popular in Terravore's native Bulgaria back in the day? Who knows? Either way, I give them kudos for their taste in vintage Garden State metal!
Anyway, Unforeseen Consequences is the debut full length from Terravore, who've been together since 2015 and have a previous EP and demo release under their studded belts. The band members' resumes include stints in other Bulgarian bands with names like Mass Cremation, Abduction, and Belgarath—none of whom sound familiar to me, but maybe they mean something to those of you who follow the Eastern European metal scene.
Terravore are all about re-creating the sound of old-school extreme metal, and listening to this album is like opening a time capsule from 1989. Everything about Unforeseen Consequences—from its gloriously schlocky, gory, comic-book style cover artwork depicting a scientific experiment gone horribly wrong, to song titles like "Carbonized Corpses" and "Spectrum of Death," will immediately put the listener in a "throwback" state of mind.
Unforeseen Consequences kicks off with the fangs-bared thrasher "Lethal Vaccine," and right away the band shows off their reverence for the aforementioned Kreator, as well as Slayer and maybe even a pinch or two of mid-period (pre-Roots) Sepultura. Like all of those bands, Terravore handily straddles the line between thrash and death metal throughout the album's nine cuts.
The music is properly speedy and ultra-violent enough to satisfy both camps, but while the vocal work by Kalin Bachvarov is certainly harsh-n-snarly enough (ala Kreator's Mille Petrozza) to appeal to death-heads, they never quite descend into the full-on growly death metal "BLURRRRRGH" style, which should make this band listenable to the thrash crowd as well.
The oddly titled "Vigor Leech" (?) features a particularly frenzied rhythm bit that should inspire its share of old-school mosh pit action, while the lyrics to the utterly bad-ass "Terror Doctrine" eviscerate the maniacs in the Middle East. I assume that the title "Of A Dying World" is intended as a salute to the fellas in Revenant, whose 1991 album was called Prophecies of a Dying World, but it's not a cover of that song, as I originally thought. (Though to be honest, I had to re-visit the Revenant track on YouTube to be absolutely sure, since it's been years since I heard it.)
A five-minute instrumental workout titled "Catatonia" gives guitarist Ivan Lazarov and drummer Trendafil Trendafilof (yes, seriously) a chance to show off their impressive chops and leads into the crushing final track, "Spectrum of Death (Unforeseen Consequences)," which is a six-minute-plus epic of ripping riffs, raging vocals and slamming pit-friendly rhythms that end the album on a high note.
Summing It Up
Unforeseen Consequences is a slightly more "extreme" release than I'm used to hearing from Stormspell Records, who usually deal with bands that are more in the melodic speed and power metal vein, but Terravore's retro thrash vibe definitely fits within the label's legendary "Stuck in the '80s and Proud of It!" mindset.
While Terravore certainly aren't breaking any new ground within the thrash or death genres, they're a well-oiled, brutal bunch who know how to carve an impressive swath of musical mayhem. If you've worn out your old cassettes of Slayer's Hell Awaits or Kreator's Pleasure to Kill, Terravore's Unforeseen Consequences would make for a pretty damn fine 21st-century upgrade.
- Apocalyptic Impact (EP)—Self-released, 2016
- Spectrum of Death (Demo)—Self-released, 2017
- Lethal Vaccine (Single)—Self-released, 2017
- Unforeseen Consequences—Stormspell Records, 2018
© 2018 Keith Abt