Review: “Into Blackness” by Bonded

Just a few days after the release show for their debut album “Rest In Violence“, German Thrash beasts Bonded were forced to put everything on ice and wait for the subsidence of the storm of the great plague in order to continue their journey and fortunately for us, that gave them the opportunity to create a sequel and air their frustrations. Formed in 2018 by long time Sodom members Bernd “Bernemann” Kost (Guitars) and Markus “Makka” Freiwald (Drums) who are joined by former Suicidal Angels and Exarsis man Chris Tsitsis (Guitars), former Tauron bassist Marc Hauschild and Assassin‘s Ingo Bajonczak (Vocals), the band chose to pick up where they had left off with the debut…

…which meant working once more with producer Cornelius “Corny” Rambadt at Rambado Recordings (Sodom, Disbelief, Onkel Tom) and with Björn Gooßes of Killustrations (Aborted, The Crown, Carnal Forge) for their artwork. Both Kost and Freiwald exited Sodom in 2018 after a combined 20 years in the group before forming Bonded and it has to be said that their presence in this band makes for a powerful cornerstone with a beating black heart and then when you throw in the other three equally seasoned musicians you have something on paper that should be exceptional – which is exactly what Bonded are. What they have created with their own hands is a modern Thrash act that doesn’t rest on it’s past conquests and instead marches on into the next battle with it’s bloodstained sword held aloft. Whether it is considered a concept album or not, “Into Blackness” has a four song centrepiece inspired by author Richard Rhys Jones’ book “The Division Of The Damned“, a fictional tale in which at the end of World War II a brand new weapon is offered to a division of German soldiers – a day walking Vampire breed. Those cuts and that inspiration help give the album a frame upon which to work and helps to bring everything together in terms of narrative, flow and sense of direction, something which serves the band incredibly well. Sonically, the record is a largely an adrenaline pumping high tempo supercharged storming speed Thrash affair with barely an ounce of nostalgia about it. Instead the incendiary Slayer inspired riffs are executed with clinical precision, the drum sound is crisp and clean and Bajonczak gives us that classic dry throated raspy vocal tone, the kind you might expect from Exodus vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza. In single “Lillith (Queen Of Blood)” the band set the benchmark for the record, a scorching, all guns blazing cut that is your classic throw the bullets in the fire and run like hell affair and perhaps against the odds they maintain that level of quality throughout. Similarly “The Holy Whore” is an absolute bomb blast of a cut with military grade explosive percussive battery and fast and loose soloing that raises the hairs on the back of your neck. When the tempo does slow down a notch the quintet turn on the groove with slick style making light work of cuts like “Destroy The Things I Love” with a pinch of melody and an intricate solo adding that all important weight and gravity, like Exodus playing a Pantera cover. Saving the best until last, the furious “The Eyes Of Madness” has the longest and sing-a-long chorus without easing up on those incendiary riffs and in terms of a modern Thrash record, this is exactly what those dreams are made of [8.5/10]

Track listing

1. The Arsonist (1:05)
2. Watch (While The World Burns) (4:00)
3. Lilith (Queen Of Blood) (4:48)
4. The Holy Whore (4:49)
5. Division Of The Damned (4:20)
6. Into The Blackness Of A Wartime Night (4:40)
7. Destroy The Things I Love (3:54)
8. Final Stand (3:50)
9. Ill-Minded Freak (4:59)
10. Way Of The Knife (4:09)
11. The Eyes Of Madness (4:52)

Into Blackness” by Bonded is out 12th November 2021 via Century Media

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