Ever heard of Assaulter? No? Me neither. The band hails from Australia and recently released their sophomore album, Boundless! It is an album of intense brutality that is sure to pound your skull in, or at least make you ears bleed a little bit. It is certainly a crushing slice of metal, but I find I am hard pressed to say that I really like it. I like it enough, here is something infectious in the way the raw production emanates from my headphones and drills itself into my brain, but it doesn't really stand out enough to make me want to come back all that often.
Assaulter definitely live up to their name. The music is a blend of black metal and thrash. It is not really a retro sound like the thrash played by acts like Warbringer and Municipal Waste, it definitely leans more towards the black side if the coin. In particular the raspy, raw vocals sound right out of a black metal release. They wail their way over music that is very heavily thrash inspired with some nice of solos that are a blackened version of old school metal.
The band is fronted by founding member S. Berzerker, formerly of the war metal machine Destroyer 666. He delivers the distinctive vocals as well as pulling double duty on bass and guitar. He is joined by ex-Razor of Occam drummer Peter Hunt and lead guitarist T. Hellfinder. Together they are able to generate a veritable wall of thrash destruction that is a little reminiscent of bands like Kreator.
While I did not find myself enthralled by their creation, it should be said that this is a solid album that should be listened to a few times before making a final decision with regards to it's quality. I found that there is some really nice lead work interwoven through the thrash, not everything is brutal riffage. The lead work shows off some nice technical skill, of both the straight solo and trade off of screaming licks.
The more I listen the more I get out of it. It may seem simple enough to start, but it is deceptively complex. Still not really something I think I will revisit all that often, but definitely worth a peek.