Nima : I have been following these Finnish thrashers since their debut, ’Command’, and the three albums they have released so far (and especially the hard-hitting second LP ’Next’) applied to me quite a lot. Needless to say that I was rather enthusiastic about the new album, ‘Bannerless’, which will arrive mid-April.
In many way ‘Bannerless’ is a logical continuation of its predecessors, but on the other side also a bit different. The gentlemen have not deviated from their old-fashioned thrash roots. However, they have "limited" themselves less. The mid-tempo and the groove that they showed on the previous record, ’Last’, has been expanded here. In addition, we often have influences from the punk corner, and the emphasis is slightly more on a darker and more technical approach. All of this has ensured that the whole sounds more versatile, but in contrast to 'Last' that has been at the expense of the impact. Don’t get me wrong, because the gentlemen do regularly come up with cool and catchy riffs and the overall aggression remains intact at all times, but unlike the previous albums, I am not blown away from start to finish. Because of the lingering, dark and technical nature that the majority of the material has 'Bannerless' is harder to digest and it all sounds a bit too lengthy, and therefore can’t keep you focused. Unfortunately that doesn’t change after several listens, and therefore this album is less appealing to me than its predecessors. That does not mean that 'Bannerless' is a bad album, it’s just that the strength of this band lies within a faster and more straightforward approach, which I often miss here. All in all a very respectable album that fans of technical, heavy and dark thrash should give a chance.