ATTACKHEAD – Voices In The Dark

ATTACKHEAD - Voices In The Dark
  • 8.5/10
    ATTACKHEAD - Voices In The Dark - 8.5/10


Nine18 Records
Release date: February 13, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Thrash Metal and Traditional Heavy Metal are like father and son and then when you meld them together, you usually get good results out of it, especially when you try to make 80s oriented Metal music. Attackhead are just the guys, at the right time, to bring you all the aggression and beauty of this great sub-genre meld. With their first release, you will be able to see and feel how good the father and son relationship is.

First, let’s get to know the boys from Orange County, California, USA. In 2002, vocalist and guitarist, Mark Chapman founded the newborn monster, Attackhead. This monster brought the mixture of NWOBHM, à la Iron Maiden, and Thrash Metal à la Slayer and Testament. Let’s say that in this release, Slayer rules the influence department along with bits and pieces of NWOBHM. Along the way the band couldn’t establish itself because of many lineup changes. Finally, in 2007, after being able to sustain a full time line-up, they officially started their journey in the Metal world. In 2008 Attackhead released its first full-length album, Voices In The Dark, which comes to kick your asses you Thrashers out there!

Voices In The Dark was Mark Chapman’s baby as far as in regards to the production. Chapman, with an 80s spirit in his veins, designed a well-done 80s Thrash / Heavy Metal sound that reflects anger and aggression yet it has its soft spots of the early stages of NWOBHM. Like on Slayer’s albums, since their 1994’s Divine Intervention, the sound, overall, is gloomy and dark, yet when it comes to the guitar solos, they lash out as screams in the dark – a phrase which is well suited to the album’s title. Every instrument here sounds clear; you can even enjoy some lead bass, à la Iron Maiden, in several songs by the bassist, Christian Bargados.

For the analysis, you can take Voices In The Dark and divide it into two unequal parts. The first part is almost 100% Slayer-ish addiction of their late era with a couple of samples from the early Traditional Heavy Metal (tracks 1-8). The Second part conveys the word of the NWOBHM with mini-sections of Speed / Thrash Metal (9-12).

In section one there are some great tracks that will not shame Slayer. One of the great contributors to that element, beyond the music and the one-ton of strong lyrical themes, is Chapman’s voice, which seems very similar to Tom Araya’s but sometimes even rougher.

When turning to the music you can only sit back and enjoy. “Dark Ritual” is by far the most “Slayery” stuff of this release, for Slayer fans, this one will bring tears to your eyes when you hear the song’s intro, main riffs and the diabolical solo made by Q Chapman or by his talented companion on the guitars, George Portoulas. The track “Blame” starts with lead bass and good drumming by Steve Cordero and builds to an attacking rhythm that spits out criticism about the filthy / dirty corporate bastards. Along with the strong rhythm, there are the melodic lead guitar breaks of Maiden, which after a while turns back to the monster that attacked earlier. “Sweet Sounds Of Corruption” is, to say it, the “catchy” side of this section. A mostly mid-tempo tune, it kicks in with a nice chorus with Chapman’s average ability as far as clean vocals goes, but this one also has its strong moments of momentum. “Voices In The Dark” is where everything begins, the best one after “Dark Ritual”, a great Slayer oriented song with an awesome main rhythm section. Although it has a pretty banal chorus technique, it’s still breaks heads. “Infected” and “Lead The Blind” are both rather influenced by the old era of Slayer of the mid 80s. The riffs of these songs are very much like Slayer’s. “Infected” has a mind blowing main rhythm section and “Lead The Blind” follows in the same steps.

The small section number two acknowledges the NWOBHM, rather the Thrashiness of Slayer from the first section. “F.F.P” (Fuck, Fight, Piss – how nice), has a march like intro until it sparkles with a 1980-1982 rhythmic feel that will make you think it’s a British Metal act on display here. The main riffs are easy to maintain, yet they go great with Chapman’s clean vocals. Aside from the main riffs there is the charging riff of the chorus and the unmerciful double bass attacks. “Waste Of Life” is a nice track, not the thrilling type, although it has great rhythms and pre-chorus surprise attacks. This one has Maiden bass parts and the fast-paced Motörhead-ish and Punky patterns.

Closing the album, there is “Tazer”, which has a funny intro of a guy electrocuting others. The Instrumental itself is a purely Iron Maiden style of the early 80s with some lone harder elements. The mid-track melodic trills are almost like in “Phantom Of The Opera” and the harmonic solos are well performed.

Attackhead came as a signal to other bands to keep the 80s spirit alive and to show that Thrash / Heavy Metal still kicks ass and that you can mosh with it and break each other’s bodies. This album is like Attackhead announced – “Skull Crushing Heavy Metal With An Old School Edge” – you bet they made it happen!


  • Lior Stein

    Lior was a reviewer, DJ and host for our Thrash Metal segment called Terror Zone, based out of Haifa, Israel. He attributes his love of Metal to his father, who got him into bands like Deep Purple, Rainbow, Boston, and Queen. When he was in junior high he got his first Iron Maiden CD, The Number Of The Beast. That's how he started his own collection of albums. Also, he's the guitarist, vocalist and founder of the Thrash Metal band Switchblade. Most of his musical influences come from Metal Church, Vicious Rumors, Overkill, and Annihilator.

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