Repulsor – Trapped in a Nightmare EP

Talk about some thrashtastic artwork, it references practically every legendary VHS cover or film poster from the 1980s, such as Virgin Among the Living Dead or City of the Walking Dead.  With that in mind, it comes with an expectation of retro worship.  In fact, that’s kind of what’s been going on in thrash for the past ten years, bands that sound like they never stopped watching their horror flicks on VHS.  Hell, probably Betamax, even.  And there are a tons of them in the revivalist thrash army.  Hyades, Warbringer (yep, that’s a tank on that cover), Tuck From Hell (WTF), Toxic Holocaust (do we actually need to link that one?) and Lich King, who takes a somewhat humorous approach at times, which is easy enough to prove with their 8-bit chiptunes album Super Retro Thrash.  Sometimes it’s downright confusing who’s retro thrash and who isn’t.  You’ll occasionally hear Ghoul mentioned in such discussions, but they’re completely modern.  So how can you tell?  Simple, if it sounds like something you heard thirty years ago, it’s retro, if it doesn’t, it’s modern, which makes it simple enough for those of us who have heard enough (take a trip through the links above, if you wish).


Trapped in a Nightmare has all the artistic hallmarks of retro thrash before you even get to the music.  Is the word ‘toxic’ used somewhere in the song titles?  Yes, therefore it is retro (we forgot to mention that detail), and that one word there basically categorizes it as such without even needing to listen to any of it.  But, listen we must, this is a review, after all, not art criticism.  But let’s continue this lead.  Like the sprightly lass on the cover, we enter into the cemetery of Repulsor with reservation, and perhaps a little dread.  Is it because we fear the thrash?  No, we love the thrashtastic, what we fear is the retro, because the retro can get a little brittle, scraggly, and possible weak, just like those skeletons there.  Don’t be too afraid, girl, a flick of your finger and they might just topple into dust.  Let us see…


Thankfully, Trapped in a Nightmare has the music down right.  These guys can seriously rip.  Like, those lanky claws are looking a bit threatening there, might want to consider running faster, meek one.  “Toxic Tomorrow”, the opener, hits the ground running at hyperspeed with Repulsor dishing out pleasingly perfect chugs.  In the middle’s a nice interlude called “The Summoning”, and those solos are as lovely as a girl running away from skeletons in a cemetery under a full moon.  Watch as they draw closer, their grave clothes sticking to patches of mildew, their hollow sockets glowing from supernatural power, their flesh mere fragments of life, their breath reeking of the bowels of the earth, and their screams…oh.  See, there’s a big issue with this EP, the vocals.  Don’t worry about running, little lady, you can walk now, those skeletons pose no threat, you can flash them a smile, even.  Repulsor are sick in the music department, seriously retro sick, enough that you’ll crave more.  But the vocals…rather weak.  The lyrics are delivered at almost the level of dinner conversation.  “Have some tea, milady?” the skeletons ask.  It’s like the bassist can’t muster the power to truly thrash, and it’s definitely nothing like the sickening throat we found in Blessed Curse (seriously, do check that out now, we gave him a spot in our top vocalists article for a reason).  What Repulsor needs is some vocal depth, some blood-spattered angst in the lungs, because right now it sounds like they’re playing thrash while singing at a charity event for the Ronald McDonald House.  Seriously, get those vocals tense, raw, and horrifying.  Otherwise, there’s plenty of thrash in this EP for the fanatics out there.


Repulsor Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

Repulsor – Trapped in a Nightmare EP
Self-Released / Thrashing Madness Productions
3.5 / 5