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>>>   R e v i e w s   >>>   ARAKAIN "Thrash The Trash"

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>>> JOHAN | 2007-07-22 >>>

ARAKAIN "Thrash The Trash"

(1990 Supraphon)

Thrash Metal Classic

There's nobody else behind Arakain's debut but Petr Janda of Olympic. It was him, who got absorbed by heavy metal at the end of the 80's and pursued his Rockmapa project. He tried to map the metal scene through vinyl releases and in 1989 the Supraphon shops showed a number of singles topped by the LP called "Rockmapa 1". Arakain were on top of their popularity, so they featured with "Proc?" on the LP as well as two singles. Besides "Proc?" it was "Amadeus", "Ku-Klux-Klan" and "Orion", which Arakain recorded in Janda's Propast studio in spring 1988 plus spring 1989. Only "Amadeus" appeared on the LP "Thrash The Trash", so I will also cover the three remaining numbers.

"Proc?" was a concert hit at the time. Brichta's text is a statement of an unacknowledged artist who won't hear "good" advice and despite the adversity around he is determined to play metal. And thrash metal to be specific, of which "Proc?" is a textbook example - pulsing drums, yelling guitars, pounding bass and harsh pissed vocals - this accounts for the attributes of Arakain anno 1988. The single appeared as late as 1989, in the same year other 10 songs were recorded. Two of them appeared on a single, the rest on the LP. The single offers two faces of the band - the moderate one is embodied in "Orion", the harder on in "Ku-Klux-Klan", which made the band "famous" in the communist press „proslavil“ in a nonsense article condemning another band Törr. "Orion" with the space topic in the lyrics is a midtempo heavy metal, unlike "Ku-Klux-Klan" which is a vivid thrash song with piercing vocals and a nice antiracist message.

Recorded in May 1989 the album came out almost a year later. Communist delivery dates were simply too long, so we got hold of the album after their fall. The front cover is dominated by a six-finger fist, back contains a stylised photo of the band members, tracklist and a few lines of bullshit by Josef Vlcek supposedly defining thrash metal. The definition actually makes me die laughing even today. On the other hand, the music is still up to date and interesting. Each song a hit. The initial confession "Thrash The Trash" through the final „Amadeus“ – the record keeps the high standard and is widely recognized as the best effort of Arakain ever. Some songs still stand out of the high standard. For me it means the megahits "Šeherezád", "Pán boure", "311. Perut" and of course "Amadeus". "Šeherezád" features the first ever oriental inspiration in Czech metal and a lengthy, almost 7 minute composition offers a range of moods from ballad style to ultrafast soloing. Storm intro starts the catchy „Pán boure“, celebration of natural elements, very very fast with a nice second half of the chorus and another guitar yelling with a number of ideas within four minutes. The blasting drums make you feel the dark clouds and storm are really coming. The most serious message is contained in "311. Perut" dedicated to the memory of Czech pilots participating in the battle of Britain during WWII. Few might realise this but the song originates in the totalitarian period which viewed the soldiers of the western front as enemies of the country, ignored their importance; they became publicly noticed only after 1989. Arakain did not go beyond the war scenes. still they deserve respect for the lyrics. Basically, the lyrics on "Thrash The Trash" appear the most intelligent of all Arakain albums, no stupidities that they came up with later. The climax comes with the final "Amadeus", the only song authored by Mirek Mach. To complete the info on the line-up: Aleš Brichta - vocals, Jirka Urban - guitar, Zdenek Kub - bassguitar, Daniel Krob - guitar and Robert Vondrovic - drums. The last two mentioned left for Kreyson right after the album. Back to „Amadeus“. Heavy and dark riffs, not unlike e.g. Törr on their "Witchhammer" demo, change into another drumming blast and guitar wilderness. Aleš switches between two vocal registers keeping up with the fast thrash tempo and the guitar solo is one more thing Arakain could contribute with to the textbooks of thrash metal.

The first big Arakain entry was a success and makes a milestone in the band's rich discography. We could spot some minor issues, like the sound which could be more clear, Aleš not being clearly understood at some points, but generally it's a hit!

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