REVIEW: DUST BOLT – “Trapped In Chaos”
#areyouprepared? is the hashtag German thrashers Dust Bolt have used on their website to announce their latest album due to come out in January 2019. With a career spanning over a decade these guys have been hammering out some heavy, hard-hitting old-school stuff ever since winning the German Metal Battle at Wacken Open Air and have given us some pretty brutal records like ‘Awake the Riot’, an album I had the pleasure of reviewing myself back in 2014. In an interview with Snoozecontrol in July ’18, frontman and guitarist Lenny Breuss talked about the direction of the new album and how this one is going to be the “most heavy one”. We’re here to discuss – ‘Trapped in Chaos’
First up, I like the artwork on this. It looks like the pupil of an eye and depending on how you view it, it’s either a hole in the earth, portal to an icy hell or the black-hole about to consume the cosmic. In whichever way interpreted it has a metaphoric meaning and somehow resonates perfectly with the musical content in it. Now having heard previous records from this group I can certainly say that while this album delves into a more melodic direction it does not necessarily soften up on its sound. It still has a very amped-up old school thrash sound providing plenty of sonic assault in songs like ‘Fourth Strike’ and ‘The Bad Ad’. Lenny and Flo provide a twin rhythm attack along with Nico’s quick paced drumming and plenty of bottom end from Benny on the bass. However, unlike their previous albums this record shifts gears back and forth on pace and introduces groove into the riffs giving them a heavy metal feel which can be predominantly heard in songs like ‘Dead Inside’.
‘Bloody Rain’ exhibits this sound but in a darker and anarchized tone thus creating the essence of struggle, pain, and being trapped. Its not all doom and gloom though, the album switches tracks from the second half and introduces back the melody and has some addictively catchy choruses like those from ‘Rhythm to my Madness’ which would be my personal favourite. It flirts with some wah-wah, the primary riff gets stuck in your head and sounds like signature Dust Bolt. ‘Killing Time’ is a treat of old-school fans and is about as thrash as thrash metal can get. Solo’s are few and far in the album and are more harmonised, but when they come on, they are absolutely blistering and sound great. ‘Shed my skin’ and title track ‘trapped in chaos’ are great examples. The final song ‘Another day in chaos’ has a certain Metallica vibe to it and is the most melodic track in the album when compared to the rest.
This album has a stronger fusion of groove elements and delves into more melody compared to its predecessors. Lenny has also introduced more melody into his voice and now does some solid singing in several tracks rather than just harsh vocals. He also shows off with some growling too. Lyrically its less propaganda and more human emotion and discusses issues involving sanity and overall tipping over the edge losing control, but before you subject it to criticism, this record’s core still keeps some old school balls to the wall thrash metal and represents a more evolved band. Its very rhythm guitar dominated too but not to the point where its an overkill. The rest of the elements come together just as well, have plenty of layers of intricacy and I will agree with the bands interview statement on point of this record being the heaviest work from them yet.
‘Trapped in chaos’ delves into more melody compared to its predecessors yet successfully retains the raw aggression one would associate with the genre. It’s one of the heaviest records the band has produced yet, and secures their position among the primes of modern Teutonic thrash metal.