Australia’s heavy metal talent is undeniable in the present age, a fact accentuated by the recent release of Cathedral Of Bones from Sydney thrash outfit Flaming Wreckage.
Mixing old school thrash mentality with melodic death metal and elements of groove metal, Flaming Wreckage have created a sound that is as timeless as it is modern.
Let’s face it, the thrash metal movement has been long represented by standout bands and the notion that many bands of this genre are merely rehashes of an era gone by has been tempered somewhat by the amalgamation of genres within genres and it is here that Flaming Wreckage clearly stand on their own merit.
Their sound is crushingly unrelenting yet beautiful, with aggressive lyrics bettered only by ferocious musicianship.
Following on from 2017’s promising From Flesh To Dust, Cathedral Of Bones perfectly captures a band who are settled with their musical identity and are only looking for new ways to indulge their passion.
The album features all of the traditional elements of old school thrash – duelling guitars, frenetic riffing, pulsating drumming and venomous vocals – but it distances itself noticeably by drawing upon elements of melodic death metal and the use of timing changes and eclectic interludes that are the trademark of a band unafraid to mess with convention.
Album opener “Skeletons of Giants” sets the tone beautifully for the remainder of the album, beginning with an almost stuttering guitar riff before being joined by the second guitar and unleashing hell when vocalist/guitarist Dave Lupton enters the fray at around the one minute mark. You almost get the sense the band recorded this as an open jam and loved it enough to include on the album, such is the comfort and ease with which the band comes together in an opening five minutes that grabs you by the short and curlies and threatens instant eradication to any foolish enough to not complete the journey.
The drum intro alone to “Leech” was enough to convince me Flaming Wreckage are a band who push the boundaries, with too many bands these days playing things with a straight bat rather than think outside the box and allow nature to take its musical course.
Flaming Wreckage have that rare and unique ability to accentuate the feeling within their songs, as presented with “Running Blind” and the instant mental pictures it evokes. My mind instantly took me to a dark room with the musical imprints of an unknown person stumbling through the darkness, bouncing off walls in a frantic effort to escape the unknown. It is a powerful image, especially when created by way of music, and one which is difficult to capture but breathtaking when done right.
“Straight For The Kill” is almost brutal in its delivery, with pulsating riffs that seemingly burn into your consciousness. Lupton and Justin Humphry (guitar) work seamlessly together, overlapping and interacting guitar tones that are the backbone of this and most of the songs on the album.
By the time Cathedral of Bones finishes with the hypnotically beautiful “Sin Survives” – a sweeping song that denigrates into pure chaotic rage – Flaming Wreckage have traversed the timeless world of thrash and left an overwhelming sense of sonic intensity in their wake.
It is brutal, crushing and abrasive yet somehow comforting.
Does that make me sound weird?
Watch “Running Blind” below: