With a thundering drumroll and a blistering riff backed up by a satisfyingly crunchy bassline, Black Fast roars to life with one of my favorite releases of the year so far, Terms of Surrender. I’d previously written about Black Fast’s place in the current American thrash revival but after slowly digesting all of its latest LP over the past few weeks since its release, I can safely say that BF belongs at the very forefront of this movement and in the ears of anyone even remotely interested in any of the many permutations of the genre.
The record’s nine tracks are a relentless death march into the void, a swirling cacophony of breakneck tempo changes, brilliant speed picking and that aforementioned signature bass chug, refreshingly and unexpectedly high in the mix. Songwriting is absolutely killer, with each track distinct and memorable, but always pushing toward the same nihilistic goal. The thrash element is definitely at the forefront here, but I have to say that this music is the most pervasively “black metal” I’ve heard in some time, especially from an American band. Anyone can affect a high pitched wail (where vocalist Aaron Akin definitely excels, no doubt about it, with an impressively motor mouthed delivery exhibiting that he seemingly doesn’t need to breathe) and call themselves black metal, but there’s that feeling, the hopelessness, the dread, the aforementioned nihilism. Black Fast absolutely nails it to the fucking wall and it’s goddamned amazing to hear.
Terms of Surrender is an absolute masterpiece of meticulously delivered scorched earth nastiness. Being somewhat familiar with the band’s previous output I knew I’d enjoy the album but I had no idea that I’d fall in love with it the way that I have, and I can’t wait for these guys to play Philly so I can hear this stuff live. This release should ascend Black Fast to the very echelon of their chosen field in the corrupted minds and burned out hearts of the faithful, on par with long lived and well-loved American blackened thrash stalwarts like The Black Dahlia Murder and Goatwhore.