Slasher – Pray for the Dead

Praised for pulsing rhythms and lively guitar shredding, thrash metal sits in a royal spot within the heart of heavy metal.

Brazilian modern thrashers, Slasher, have been channeling those elements since the latter part of the 2000s. The band released their EP, Broken Faith in 2009, and revealed their single, Time to Rise, the following year. The recently released single, “Overcome,” is to be included on Slasher’s latest full-length effort, Katharsis. Howeverthe band’s first full-length, Pray for the Dead deserves a revisit. The album made an appearance in 2011 and can be cherished for its deliverance of quality thrash metal.

Pray for the Dead (2011)/Metal-archives.com

A fleeting introduction, “Skeptic” is reminiscent of a muffled heartbeat. “World’s Demise” enters and offers a glimpse at groove, a prophetic announcement for the rhythmic fury to ensue. The following number, “Hate,” opens with a pulsing bass and blossoms into a groove that warmly welcomes some headbanging. “Pray for the Dead” carries average thrash characteristics, beginning with an upbeat stance; though, it takes steps toward creativity. “Enemy of Reality,” almost morphs itself into an anthem, likely to push the listener to chant along.

With a soft, dreamy beginning, “‘Till the End” interestingly transitions into some clean singing amid the band’s signature musical surprises. “Broken Faith” rolls in some rather exciting instrumentation, then situates itself into a quick breakdown near the ending. The overall appeal of “Lifeless” is its audacity to enticingly thrive in a direct, rhythmic riff. “Art of War” has some speedy moments and doses of sorrowful guitar chords. Similar to “Hate,” “Tormento Ou Paz” moves along to some infectious drumming and may structurally remind one of the classic, “Burn in Hell.”

Concluding the album is “Time to Rise” and shows itself as such by embracing powerful riffs, ensuring some audience participation with the expression, “Rise up!”.  

Pray for the Dead can be celebrated for its ability to deliver lively, upbeat metal but does so while savoring moderately paced guitar riffs. Technically, the album’s recording is impressive on the ear, instruments and vocals are well balanced. Most impressive is Slasher’s knack for using nuances to align their creativity with traditional aggressively tinged metal. Pray for the Dead is a must for those seeking some hearty thrash with memorable rhythms.

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