Vile Child is thrashy as fuck!
For those who long for some fresh thrash metal, look no further! Las Vegas’ VILE CHILD released “Stalking the Streets” on March 1, 2019. If the band’s name doesn’t sound familiar, you should at least recognize lead vocalist/guitarist Geddy Reyes, who also plays (left handed!) guitar in Taking Dawn. And their drummer, who also has been seen sharing the stage with another local favorite metal band, Sicocis.
If I had to give you a gut punch reaction to this album right off the bat, I’d say it sounds like a perfect blend of Exodus and Testament (plus a couple more...keep reading!). With vocals that fall somewhere in between, as those two bands have a decent range between them when it comes to each vocalists’ styles. Even though Vile Child’s band pages online state that they possess a defined heavy metal sound, I will go straight ahead of that and say the classic thrash elements are ever present in their music. Being a thrash fanatic myself, it’s very pleasing to my ears.
Onto the review...
The opening track, “The Final Solution” sets the tone for this record immediately. It’s fast and aggressive, but also has a great focus on the melody and overall beat. It goes on and on after this in this way, with the second track, “Step Up”, I personally can hear that Testament sound in the vocals. (Diggin’ a bit of that Chuck Billy style there, Geddy!?) I love this style!
Slow it down... but just for a moment.
From “Stoned to the Bone” to “Malevolent Manipulator” and then to “The Ones You Betray”, the guys keep the energy high and strong! It’s after these three tracks that just for a moment, the record is slowed down. But literally only for a moment. “Charon’s Obol” slows the record down in the same way the beginning of “One” slows down just a piece of Metallica’s “...And Justice For All” album. Or even “Orion” from Master of Puppets. Granted, “Charon’s Obol” is nowhere near as long as the two tracks from those landmark thrash albums. The Vile Child track is just a smidge longer than a minute and a half.
The record then slams right back into the intensity that it started with. “Lake of Acheron” truly displays some masterpiece sounding guitar work. For the likes of Alex Skolnick and Dave Mustaine, as some examples that I can hear a possibility of drawn influences. “Tonight” takes another slight turn; where we can hear more of a groove metal vibe, mirroring Pantera in the later years, similar to The Great Southern Trendkill tone. One difference being the provocative lyrical content, clearly about getting it on. (I’m not complaining here, I really love this track. But I’m known to like things more of the provocative nature, and the innuendos in this track are AMAZING.)
The photos seen here are from John Gist's September Steel show in 2018, where Exmortus headlined. Vile Child played an opening spot on this bill. These photos are from my personal archive. Enjoy!
Following “Tonight”, the classic thrash sound continues with “Take the Turn.” As if you hadn’t gotten enough of in your face shredding, this is no exception. Geddy and Kevin Balzano’s guitar ripping will legitimately melt your face (or ears?) off! The attention to detail when it comes to these two powering through these tracks together is phenomenal. “9/5” following musically reminds me something of a fusion of early Death Angel and the higher pitch vocals of Overkill front man, Bobby Blitz. I shouldn’t make another Exodus reference, but I can definitely hear those tones there again, as well.
Some of the best Thrash elements!
Closing out the record are the tracks, “The Fear Within” and “Bastards of the World.” And I’ll be honest with you, as those last tracks played, I really wanted the album to just keep going. Vile Child has wonderfully taken some of the best elements of the thrash genre. It’s no surprise they’ve landed bills in the past with Flotsam and Jetsam, Hatchet, and Exmortus. They fit in perfectly with bands like that, and I only hope to see them keep progressing in the way they currently are. This 12 song digital album would be a perfect addition to any of my fellow thrash-metalheads’ playlists that feature some of the greats in the genre. (I’ve already added it to my personal Thrashy playlist that features the likes of Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, Avenger of Blood, etc. I could go on and on…)
In closing, this band (and album) is perfect for those looking for that classic thrash sound. Also, if you do ever end up with the chance to see them perform live, you would not regret it one bit. They are regulars on some of John Gist's Vegas Rock Revolution bills. Their sets feature some of the best underrated energy I’ve seen, and I’m not just saying that. So what are you waiting for? Go hit up your digital music outlets, and fucking ROCK ON!