Majster Kat - Svata Zvrhlost
Panda Music
Thrash Metal
12 songs (52:50)
Release year: 2007
Majster Kat, Panda Music
Reviewed by Dylan
Surprise of the month
Few albums deserve the “surprise of the week” tag as much as this one does. Hailing from Slovakia, Majster Kat play old school thrash with some progressive touches laced throughout to keep things interesting. Even though this is their debut, they play with the ability and confidence typical of a much more experienced band. Of course, the album is far from flawless, but is such a good representative of old-school thrash, fans of old school Megadeth, Death Angel, and Dekapitator should check this out with no hesitation.

When I’m listening to the guys in Majster Kat play, I can’t help but draw comparisons to the giants who have influenced them. Drummer Bubonix reminds me a lot of Gene Hoglan; playing with a high octane, yet controlled energy. His tight double bass and interesting rhythms give the riffs more identity and power, which is always a good thing in the world of thrash metal. Bassist Tapyr has a consistently bright sound that fits his David Ellefson-like style well. Not one to sit back and perpetually double the guitars, he throws in a few counter melodies and unique lines that really add to the instrumentation as a whole. And of course, guitarists Los and Lukas seem to have a bottomless pit of riffs, interludes, and solos that bring the likes of Dave Mustaine and Eric Peterson to mind. Pod gilotinou, Kat, and Tien minulosti are some of the first tracks that showcase the band’s skill in making energetic, heavy thrash songs.

As you have now most likely deduced, all of the lyrics on Svata Zvrhlost are sung in Slovakian. This doesn’t really bother me, as I don’t really expect much lyrical prowess in a thrash band and have enjoyed multiple CDs in the past that were sung in a language entirely foreign to my ears. What does bother me are the vocals of Slymák. If you have ever wondered what ex-Vio-lence vocalist Sean Killian sounded like before puberty, this is the answer. Slymák’s intensity can’t be denied, but his delivery is very grating on the ears, and not in a good way. I’m sure there are those out there that would love his style of shrieking, but I cannot honestly count myself amongst them.

If you mange to grow accustomed to the vocals, you will begin to appreciate the songs a lot more. Aside from the sharp tremolo-laden speedfests, and catchy pedal tone thrash riffs, there are numerous occasions where the band delves into proggish territory. V udoli vciel is a good example of this, as it showcases multiple tempo changes, solos that aren’t just whammy bar wankfests, and a really cool interlude. In fact, those soothing melodic guitar passages show up more than once throughout the album, but manage to do in a tasteful, rather than forced manner. It’s nice to have an occasional break from the bull-headed thrash that is the meat of this album, especially since there is nearly an hour of bull-headed thrash to go around. Call me what you like, but twelve tracks of thrash is a bit more than I want to listen to in one sitting. Cutting two or three songs from the album would’ve trimmed some of the excess fat contained near the end of the ride.

Having said that, it’s still a damn fun ride. The production is surprisingly top-notch, the album has more consistency than I anticipated, and there were more than a few riffs I caught myself humming when I was done listening. Bearing the somewhat… “challenging” vocals and slightly inflated tracklist, fans of Voivod, Vio-lence, Sodom, and all the other big-name thrash bands I’ve either previously mentioned or you already know of, should definitely check this album out and give these guys some support.
Killing Songs :
Zapalte ohne, Pod gilotinou, Kat, Pad, and V udoli vciel.
Dylan quoted 77 / 100
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