MirrorBlaze: Triumph of the Villain

Still kind of confused about this band name.  It's written as MirrorBlaze, just like that, but it appears in separation in their logo.  As to what it means, we'll leave that up to you.  MirrorBlaze are a three-piece thrash outfit from Bangladesh who banded together in 2007.  Triumph of the Villain is their first full-length, and it displays clearly that retro thrash is the flavor of the month, or past ten years, but that's not necessarily something to chastise, as many metal fans seem to have been doing, other than the thrashers.  We all know how it goes, it's kind of like Civil War reenactors who gather together to shoot-off musket blanks after they finish their lunch at Burger King.  Meaning, it's something of an act, but it can be a good act.  Get some leather jackets, some patches, jeans with holes at the knees, and then play basically every riff covered by Kreator in the 80s.  Strangely, this whole revival thing is popping up everywhere, Bangladesh being one of the more unexpected developments, though the roots of thrash there go back to at least the early 90s with bands like Phantom Lord, who played around in the underground but apparently never released anything officially.  They're so obscure you won't even find them listed on Metallum, which says quite a bit.  After them, you had a few acts that appeared like PoizonGreen, but the majority were completely unknown outside of their own houses, let alone the rest of the world.  It's interesting to see how metal has spread everywhere, but thrash seems to have this odd draw to it where playing it old school is basically what you're expected to do.  It runs the risk of sounding like everything else, but if done classically enough it can get by.

 

Triumph of the Villain doesn't waste any time.  It's classic thrash, done in the past year, but sounding like thirty years ago.  That basically summarizes all you need to know about it, but of course its country of origin here is Bangladesh, but don't take that to suggest you're getting any sense of 'native' in it, it's just unexpected.  Pull out an Exodus album from 20-or-so years ago and you might forget it was something different.  But that's not necessarily a bad thing, let us remind the reader, and here these guys stay true to their roots as truly as they possibly could.  This is like staying true to "the" roots, the one and only.  The recording quality is old school, the riffs are old school, the attitude is old school, the logo is old school, there's so much old school here it could school you in the old that is school.  Put a Slayer shirt over it and it's good to go, just add studs.  Retro thrash receives a lot of hate because it's such a formulaic approach, but it's interesting for this fact, and if you take it for what it is, it can be enjoyable.  Who would have thought playing something old could lead to a revolution of old?  Suddenly all these original guys still playing this stuff at age 60 don't seem so gray.

 

Triumph of the Villain is the perfect example of why, sometimes, it's okay to take a few giant steps back, way back.  Thrash may be one of the few areas where this is possible, because somehow the idea of cut-and-paste works to its advantage.  MirrorBlaze, in this release, have the garage sound, the drums near breaking point, the almost hollow chords, it's all there.  The recording quality is clear enough but definitely 'old' in sound, unlike some modern thrash bands who go for antiquated but sound like they're from the fuuuturree.  MirrorBlaze, unlike many retro acts of their type, and probably even country though honestly we haven't taken the time to listen, are able to pull out interesting riffs on nearly every track.  The approach is sometimes naive, the lyrics sometimes expendable, but they sound thrash, they're dedicated to thrash, they just might be approaching it a little like newly-graduated college students to the work force, starry-eyed.  For retro thrash, intentional or not, MirrorBlaze have great sound, but in the future they're going to need to separate themselves from the pack, otherwise jean jackets with studs is all they're going to have in their future.  They easily display true retro thrash done well, but that's all you can take it for at the moment.

 

MirrorBlaze Official Facebook 

Written by Stanley Stepanic

MirrorBlaze: Triumph of the Villain
Self-Released
4 / 5