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Label: Ketzer Records / Tapes of Terror Records

Date: November 15th, 2023

I love it when there’s a good story behind a review! Mostly because there’s no easier way to start writing than with those types of anecdotes. But there’s also this fulfilling sensation when everything ticks like a warm-blooded heart. Makes me remember how much I love this “job”. Here’s the tale.

I believe this was the first time I was actually recommended as a journalist, reviewer and altogether reliable person to whom you can entrust your album. Tomas of mighty Exorcizphobia spread the word and it caught Asura, bassist and vocalist for 1000 Bombs. As if that wasn’t enough to excite, I found further surprises upon digging for information about the band. As it turns out, 1000 Bombs is mostly comprised of members of Trollech, one of the champions of Czech pagan black metal. The drummer who goes by the name Sheafraidh is also hammering in Inferno, Stíny Plamenů and formerly in Panychida. All of them my long time favorites! And speaking of favorites, there’s a song on “Sentenced to War” entitled “Pilsner Thrashquell”. Dedicated to the best in a long line of Czech brewing brilliance, the song perfectly captures the fine texture and exquisite taste of a chilled can of Pilsen’s golden beauty.

Aside of these curiosities, 1000 Bombs is not a new name to the ever-fervent scene of Czech Republic. They’ve been around for quite a while, although their discographic efficiency isn’t all that glorious. Naturally, with members being occupied in many bands, all of them fairly active, there’s going to be at least one left behind. So, nine years after the debut full length, seven after the last official release (a split with countrymen, Bajonet), “Sentenced to War” is here before the audience.

Now, above I have mentioned a few bands that play a significant role in the careers of 1000 Bombs’ members. None of them are comparable to the hero of this particular review. Of all the involved, 1000 Bombs is the most straight-forward. There’s no black metal influence whatsoever, no flirting with pagan or folklore themes, no instrumental experimentation… Plain and simple, death thrashing machinery. Emphasis being on thrash metal, though death metal is no small part these Czechs’ creation. They are building upon the legacy of Teutonic thrash most gladly. Kreator is the most prominent of apparent influences, especially considering the density of sound on display here. Also, the depths that guitars reach call into the heritage of the famed Germans. So does the tremolo picking these guys are not afraid of using. And speaking of things so frequently used improperly, guitar solos on “Sentenced to War” are to be revered for their thoughtful engraving into songs and correct composing so as not to be just dumb displays of someone’s skill.

On the other, the death metal side, I find 1000 Bombs most linkable with early Florida days. Morbid Angel’s effective use of riffing instead of overboard production to achieve heaviness and a distinct groove. Then again, I cannot but compare the growling with (in)famous Mr. Chris Barnes. Strong, confident in performance and commanding. A throat that demands respect. Somewhat lacking, the attempt at shouting, thrashing vocals miss out on those attributes, though remaining convincing. Perhaps the solution would’ve been to elevate them in the production process. Alas, they’re not ruining the pieces where they appear.

The trick in keeping these two differing genres glued together in homogenous coalition has long been exposed. Of course there was no way that a group of musicians so experienced could ever fumble at that. The album finds its way easily, delivering punches left and right with constant, inexhaustible power. The trouble it may have to overcome is that many might find it derivative and “heard before”. While that is not completely untrue, 1000 Bombs has a way of making an album interesting. Far be it from me calling “Sentenced to War” a faultless brilliance, but it does contain a couple of definite powerhouses.

One of those is the already numbered “Pilsner Thrashquell”. It is also a sort of an exception to the album, standing out as the purest thrash metal track. Honoring the other pillar of German thrash, Sodom at their punkiest, with an obvious nod to the kings of beer, Tankard (in both the topic and that unmistakable lead guitar section in the middle). The one issue with it is that it stands out of the bunch like a third nipple. Then again, who can argue with a cool song like that!? Crack open a cold one and shut the hell up!

While I’m on the subject of topics, you might like to know that 1000 Bombs is not spewing forth cliché after cliché. They are dealing with war, obviously, however not in a manner you might think. These songs portray the horrors of war, comradery in grueling death for someone else’s interests and calling out the names of powers (ir)responsible, devastation created within and without a human being, all the way to spits at the cancel culture. Seasoned musicians, writers and composers, members of 1000 Bombs show they have a clearcut vision of what’s wrong with the world at large.

Will the world listen? The world won’t. It doesn’t give a crap about 1000 Bombs. It won’t give a crap about million bombs. It will simply expel the waste we know as “humanity” and recuperate on its own. Meanwhile, we have the Czech death thrashing battery titled 1000 Bombs to evoke the screams of fury!  

 

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