Thrash isn’t normally a genre I’m too keen on; I’m not sure why, but it doesn’t do as much for me as most other styles of metal. There are exceptions though, and Scumblack can count themselves among that number. It’s not that they do anything too unusual on Ceocracy, even if there are elements of death metal and the odd touch of crossover in their sound; it’s more that there’s a grit and determination to them that gives their music that bit extra, helping it to stand out. There is real underground metal, full of fire and fight, not caring what anyone thinks and all the better for it.
There’s an unmistakable retro vibe throughout Ceocracy, giving it the feel of an early 90’s record that has only just come to light; the most modern aspect of it is the production, which strikes the right balance between roughness and cleanliness. The talent of Scumblack comes through clearly, but so do too does their underground character. The lyrics of tracks like “Real Heroes” and “Occupied Factories” emphasizes this, concerning themselves with the challenges people face every day, government betrayal and working class pride. Even if the Spanish lyrics of the some tracks, such as”Sobreproblacion”, aren’t clear to my monolingual self, their intent and spirit certainly is.
Even if you don’t care too much about the lyrics, there’s no denying that Scumblack have unleashed a potent slice of thrash here. The death metal touches add an extra punch to tracks like “Freewill” – which recalls Sepultura at their peak – and superb leads and riffs abound. “Fly With Honor” even introduces some NWOBHM-esque dual guitars, which is very welcome. The band also avoid the mistake of many thrash bands and don’t constantly play at one tempo or stick with one atmosphere, with the varied speeds and moods helping keep Ceocracy interesting. A prime example is “Distorted Mirror”, which is brooding, triumphant, and graceful at different points during its duration. But chiefly, the record is full of energy and passion, and is sure to get heads banging and fists raised – I can’t emphasise this point enough, as it really is what has kept me coming back to Ceocracy long after other thrash records would have bored me.
Ceocracy may not be a groundbreaking album, but it gets everything right in terms of what it’s trying to do. Thrash fans are sure to lap this up, and even people like myself who don’t normally care for the genre may well be swayed by its charms and passion. The band are set to feature on the next compilation from Blackened Death Records, and hopefully that will help them achieve the recognition they deserve, as Ceocracy is a great half hour of thrash.
Ceocracy is available to stream and download via Bandcamp.