Review: “Aces Wild” by Sadistic Force

After two well received EPs in “Pain, Sex, and Rapture” and “Blood Moon Sadism” (the later being mastered by Joel Grind of Toxic Holocaust) released in January and February this year, Austin Texas Blackened Thrash trio Sadistic Force have decided to go all out and release a full debut album in “Aces Wild” and end 2021 in style. Recorded by Ryan Lee and Sweetheart Studios in Austin, Texas before being mixed and mastered by Noah Buchanan at Mercinary Studios in Avon Ohio, the album is actually the first to see bassist and backing vocalist Blaine Dismukes make an appearance in the band with mastermind vocalist and guitarist James Oliver being credited with the bass parts previously. The group is rounded out by drummer and backing vocalist Jose Alcaraz, who may or may not have previously been credited as Hell Troll…

While both of the previous EPs included a cover (Judas Priest and Turbonegro respectively), Sadistic Force have elected to go with an album of all their own work for their debut, drawing on the influences from the best of New Wave Of Black Heavy Metal and the early days of Thrash Metal in so doing. Opening cut “2,000 Volts” starts out with a distinctive Motorhead style riff before bursting into Venom esq blast beats to create the ultimate Black ‘n Roll blended Whiskey, while the later transition into Speed Thrash has distinctive Slayer influences that sets the tone for the record as a whole. Reminscent of “Cursed Be Thy Kingdom” by Betwitcher, that makes it something of a tour de force of styles that the band have managed to put together in an expected way but that works incredibly well when it probably shouldn’t, largely thanks to slick transitions and a guitar tone that has aged like a fine wine over the years. Gang chants throughout the record are going to go down like free beers live, simple crowd interactions that go a long way to making a live show an immersive experience. Frontman James Oliver makes for an evil troll of a storyteller throughout “Aces Wild” with the tales of the supernatural in the likes of “Cavern of the Wraith” being particularly good. His vocals are fierce and almost scowling in their nature and it’s not really until “Murder at Boggy Creek” that the band deviate from their script and produce something of more haunting and gripping depth with an incendiary Black Metal onslaught that bursts into something with Thrash leanings later on. There is a nostalgic quality to the album with a certain amount or rawness to the recordings and charm in the fact that it hasn’t been mordernised. Does it sound dated? A little, but it’s more timeless than that, you couldn’t place a date on the album if you tried, it could have easily been released anywhere from 1980 to the present day without batting an eyelid. Later on in the record the solos being to fly in a way that you might expect from a Children Of Bodom record with both “The Living Grave” and “Snowblind In Texas” being the perfect soundtrack to a drunken bar brawl and Oliver showing off some serious dexterity and skill. Never judge a book by its cover, this is a damned good time [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. 2,000 Volts
  2. Cavern of the Wraith
  3. Aces Wild
  4. Murder at Boggy Creek
  5. Strike of the Iron
  6. The Blade Itself
  7. The Living Grave
  8. Snowblind in Texas

Aces Wild” by Sadistic Force is out 1st October 2021 via Mercenary Press / Postmortem Apocalypse and is available for pre-order over at bandcamp

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