Audiopain - The Switch to Turn Off Mankind
Blackened Thrash Metal
6 songs (26'49")
Release year: 2007
Reviewed by Alex

Tiny American underground label Vendlus Records is among the most surprising with the range of its signings. From epic ambient black metal (Wolves in the Throne Room) to ambient post-rock (David Galas) to industrial post-black metal (Havoc Unit) – Vendlus is synonymous with variety. This time on display we have the trip down memory lane, with Vendlus introducing us to old-school thrash metal via Norway from the likes of Audiopain.

Unbeknownst to me, and I am sure to many of you as well, the band has been in existence since 2000, but mostly was satisfied by releasing a number of EPs and splits. Yet the acumen and “connections” of Audiopain have merit, as the frontman/guitarist Sverre Saehli has been guesting with Aura Noir.

The Switch to Turn Off Mankind is no more than another EP lengthwise, but it lasts just about perfectly long enough, that you would be leaving it on “replay” if rawer blackened thrash floats your boat. Here is one record swinging all the way from Bay Area to Teutonic thrash, from Exodus to Kreator, also bearing hard-charging punk aesthetics and the higher tone black metal riffing and vocal touch. This is also the record which would not introduce you to anything new, something revolutionary, not seen in metal before, but will allow for perfect decompression and unrepentant deconstruction.

Infectuos, racing against themselves, Hellbound and the title track, are trying to cover a ton of ground, periodically running into self-made roadblocks, but using the whole fret range, dive bombing and finger picking leads along the way. Even more complex riffing of Holy Toxic finds its way around twisted beat, shows octave and chord jumping, revealing plenty experienced and skilled musicians behind this full-on attitude and raw practically live produced music. Termination Fields smartly slows down, sounding like a marching manifesto with its double bass bursts and non-stop leads. Sverre stretches his Baloff/Schuldiner already high tone rasp with even higher pitched screams on Termination Fields as well. Cobra Dance has one monumental ending to conclude the proceedings.

The Switch to Turn Off Mankind is one such record that I still kept looking for an oldy thrash band cover to pop out from somewhere. The album sounds like something you have definitely heard before, yet you don’t mind hearing it again, and a few more times for a good measure. For full and tangible uptake album’s limited edition comes complete with chicken bones.

Killing Songs :
Hellbound, Termination Fileds
Alex quoted 75 / 100
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