Thrash metal may be a passé bore in the US, but judging from Strikemaster’s sophomore effort (previously hard to find and graciously reissued by Metalhit) it’s alive and thriving in Mexico.
Vicious Nightmare opens with an instrumental intro, a glimpse into the musical prowess and technical ability held by the trio, but it’s really on the following “Black Violence” that Strikemaster begin to shine. Here, the band is perfectly represented with grooving thrash riffs, speedy guitar solos, complex time changes and an irresistible catchiness that’s almost punk in nature. It’s like the best of early Metallica and early Celtic Frost blended together into a furious whirlwind of metal chaos. Fortunately, the insanity doesn’t end there – the following nine tracks brazenly hold up the extremely high standard set for them with “Black Violence.”
Hands down, this is absolutely one of the best metal releases I’ve ever heard, and one that deserves to be heard by anybody who appreciates metal in any way. And even if you’re not really into metal, but are curious, this is a perfect gateway album. Grab some beer and headbang until your neck is ready to snap. It’s a good stress release.