Unassumingly releasing their very first cassette album (its only physical format so far) on Devil’s Night 2020, Vicious Blade, a new Pittsburgh death/thrash/crust project featuring members of Tartarus, Commit Suicide, and Complete Failure, deals swiftly and brutally with poseurs in blood-hungry Napalm Death-meets-Midnight fashion. Consisting of five brief tracks totaling over just thirteen minutes, this self-titled debut is punctuated by the frightening roar of Clarissa Badini and the deft guitarwork of Jeff Ellsworth and Erik Wynn. Cunning, riffy songs are held together by local scene veteran Dan Ford and Kevin Parent on bass and drums respectively, the former having honed his skills in McKeesport demo legends Black Ritual back in the high 80’s and later in Fatality. One can hear the bridging of hessian generation gaps on opening strike Banshee’s Blade, an armor-piercing bullet of a tune that takes demented Carcass-ish chords and welds them into the iron wings of Vanik. A “crossover”/New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal ethic can be heard on second composition Claustrophobia with its rapid-to mid-paced dynamics and creeping finale Burning Visions, which travels back in time to cover the entire Bay Area scene in black alien symbiotes as Nails, Hellbastard, Goatwhore, and Speedtrap would if they became heralds of Knull.
In conclusion, this is a promising little switchblade of an EP that most denim-and-leather ‘bangers could do well to keep in their pockets. Its sharpness matches its flash as well as its retro, underground mystique. Ya just never know when ya might run into trouble, ya dig? Find it at a pawn shop near you. Or just email these occult hooligans at firstname.lastname@example.org.