The Crucifier: Voices in My Head Review
The Crucifier is a thrash metal band from Athens, Greece that has been around since 1995 with two full-length albums to their credit. Their sound lies between bands such as Exodus, Testament, and Razor alongside European thrash bands such as Kreator, Destruction, and a bit of Sodom. Some riffs remind me of Decision Day, Agent Orange, and M16, while the vocals have a slight hint of Razor with a deeper pitch and harsher flow.
- Themis (RAT) – Bass
- Spyros – Guitars
- Nikos Gkiokas – Guitars
- Dimitris (In Core) – Drums
- H.K. Thrasher (Ilias “Thanatoid” Kyriazis) – Vocals
The album is a seamless assault from start to finish, with drums sounding like mortar ordnance while the guitars sound like buzzsaws. The vocals compliment this adrenaline-pumping release, unleashing hard, dark lyrics with roars and raw anger. The tone of the album is cynical and aggressive, as if it's giving a speech on the negative of aspects of religion and society, but also encouraging their destruction with some of the most heart-pumping solos ever committed to disc. Finally, like the thrash titans of yore, the Crucifier also has a punk-y edge to the sound (most classic thrashers have their own ways of implementing this), achieved by the vocals' delivery: bursts of roars and sermons.
While nowadays there are many thrash metal bands on the scene, most influenced by classic acts, they don't really add anything new in terms of sound to the genre. However, Crucifier injects their own take on the tried-and-true sound of the 1980s by adding more aggression and speed musically. The title track is an example of this as it kicks into high gear from the first second, firing off punchy riffs on cue with a verbal shot to the head, and then transitioning to a piercing solo that thrash legends Razor would have been proud of.
"Forgive & Don't Forget," on the other hand, reminded me of "Tired and Red" by Sodom for its energetic drive with guitars cutting through the mix. Right to the middle mark, the build-up intensifies with every minute when everyone fires on all cylinders, hammering the message deep. A good thrash band must always have a way to get into the listener's head. The Crucifier does this with the intoxicating anger that infects the brain and manipulates it through the lyrics.
The only issue I have with the album is selecting a highlight, since I enjoyed all of the tracks. Each one has its own stand-out moments and a unique brand of aggressive melody. However, I did replay "Voices in My Head" many times for the head-banging harmonies and satisfying solo that hits all the right nerves.
The record itself has a genuine, organic feeling, complimenting the raw aggression and achieving the desired impact and mood of darkness and hostility the way old-school thrash did.
Overall, Voices in My Head is a powerful record with muscled old-school thrash guitars and dark lyrics narrated by vocals that give new meaning to organic aggression. As any good, classic thrash metal band does, The Crucifier goes straight to the point and every song puts its most aggressive foot forward. The listener is led along by intense, melodic grooves that tie up all the loose ends to the next attack.
The record showcases the 22-year-old band's accumulated experience, which started when the thrash greats were most prominent and the genre was more in-tune with its' roots. The dark, cynical, and aggressive part of metal left nothing sacred and was about fighting to make your point.
Any metalhead of today knows about the resurgence of old-school styled bands that draw their influence from classic bands like NWOBHM, Hard-N-Heavy, and, of course thrash metal. For the most part, they try to capture the sound and attitude of that era with mixed results. The Crucifier, however, is among the strongest contenders. They're bringing back that raw aggression we crave, with their own additions to the sound and fury.
Track From Their 2006 Album "Cursed Cross"
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© 2017 Jake Clawson