Over the course of time, certain lyrical contents have become synonymous with certain metal sub genres. So when talking about a German thrash / speed metal band, it is highly likely that they draw inspiration from the great war. And such is the case with the self titled debut of Division Speed. On paper, this album is right up my alley, as I enjoy reading the likes of Alistair Mclean. Unfortunately in this case, the lyrical themes alone are not enough to captivate my attention. The music here is a throwback to the old school Teutonic thrash styles and in many ways it ends up being too familiar.
The record does boast a few moments of brilliance like the riffs and groove in ‘Snowstorm over Narvik’, or the opening riffs of ‘Black Wolves’. The soloing on this record is actually highly enjoyable. However, these moments are quite rare and the riffs that string these moments together sound cliched and generic. The fact that this record holds a constant blistering tempo, does nothing to help it’s cause.
I guess the band fancies itself to be a throwback to the 80’s era thrash, considering the music and the aesthetics. I’ve always felt that in order to be a good throwback band, there are two things that needs to be done; 1. Perfect execution and 2. A signature touch from the band’s side. No one wants to hear the same old school riffs rehashed for a modern audience. While Division Speed nails the first step quite flawlessly, the lack of a unique touch from the band makes the music a little too generic. The riffs sound like they could have been written by random speed metal act from back in the day.
To be honest, I really looked forward to enjoying this album. The album art and the song titles appealed to the war enthusiast in me. But when a four minute track feels way too long, it’s clear that the music is just not potent enough. The band races through the tracks, packing in riff after riff that sound like something you’ve heard before. The album is not really that long in terms of length, but it is surprsingly hard to sit through.
I wish the album had more redeeming factors that make up for the lack of an original sound. Alas, Division Speed’s self titled is a record that fails in one too many ways.