Norway seems to be more famous for the blacker side of metal, so it’s nice to get something a little “lighter” from them once in a while. For example, metal act Tonic Breed’s 2014 album Outsold which was just flagged up at us by email. Ever eager to hear something potentially a little different, I gave it a listen (as can you, on YouTube).
Outsold isn’t the fastest of albums, though the person who emailed classed them as a thrash act. The band have gone more for blasts of headbanging speed around a heavier framework and this makes a pleasant change. Much as I love the standard Bay Area sound, and the many bands carrying that very sound on into the present day, it’s nice to be reminded that thrash – indeed metal sa a whole – has a wider range. That’s not to say that Outsold won’t punish your neck muscles.
Second track “Fifth Estate” for instance has plenty of pace, but also many slower periods such as the halfway point where there’s a great break for really pounding that head rather than snapping your upper vertebrae. It’s probably the most varied of the songs on the album, pulling in plenty of riffs and tricks throughout its six minute length.
“Bad Company” is what I mean by the heavier side of things and this really isn’t a thrash track at all. It’s slow, doomy and miserable – more “The Thing That Should Not Be” rather than “Trapped Under Ice” kind of pace. Again, though, it fits into the thrash ethos despite the lack of speed.
“Blackened Mind” continues the slow pace being a near-ballad effort for much of its length (think Testament’s aptly-named “The Ballad” but darker), but with some interesting tweaks in the second half.
Songs such as the title track and “Rebellious Tendencies”, however, are out and out thrash songs and make up the bulk of the album.
Soundwise, I found the recording a little muffled but that may be the stream I was listening to. Perhaps tweaking my audio settings could have added a little more treble to proceedings, but I still enjoyed giving it a few plays through.
Tonic Breed are an active band and I definitely look forward to hearing what they come up with next.