Joe Thrasher
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Joe Thrasher

Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Metal


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follow link to watch review - AXIS of METAL video review

follow link to watch video (Joe Thrasher mention @ 4:20) - The Metal Voice

The 3-track teaser for this album was quite... the tease (duh), so I was really looking forward to finally getting the whole thing. Once again Joe Thrasher keep it short and in-your-face, the album clocking in at 30 minutes of face-smashing thrashing numbers. From the get go one just has to notice the production, which is several steps up from 2009's Metal Forces (great songs, held back a little by said production.) This is "signed band"-level production right there – clear, heavy, and just abrasive enough for Thrash.

Simply put, Cries of War is a lot of fun. Most songs are straightforward but damn well played, speedy thrashers that just rip through the speakers, the kind of songs that you just can't ignore – you'll either sing along, headbang, raise your fist, at least tap your foot, or any combination of the above. This makes for really bad background music, let me tell you. :)

Lots of short (1:35 to 3:00) songs like that, but don't let the short lengths fool you, for even the shortest song has a lot going on if you pay close enough attention – they'll still get you from slow, melodic passages all the way to machine-gun style riffage and some motherfucking pounding drums. On vocals, Scott shows that he's quite the versatile singer, ranging from melodious, clean, "quiet" vocals all the way to raucous, thrashy fast vocals that I'd say are pretty much his trademark.

"We Are the Ones" was on the 3-track teaser, and it's on its way to becoming my favourite Joe Thrasher song. At 5:31, it is the longest song here and what makes it so great is how diverse it is. It's anthemic, catchy, emotional, aggressive, fun and at times even sounds a little bit solemn. It's a thrasher alright, but it has a strong Power/Thrash vibe that just wakes up all your senses and it's pretty much impossible not to stop everything you're doing when the song comes on. If I had this album on cassette, the tape would probably have broken already from me rewinding and replaying the song from 3:06 to 4:20 repeatedly. I fucking love that passage.

Not one bad song on this, and I resisted the temptation to rate it higher if only to give the guys room to impress me even more with the next album (no pressure *cough*). With Thrash being "the big thing" these past few years, it's amazing – no, frustrating – that a label has yet to pick these guys up. Thankfully that hasn't stopped them from raping our eardrums. Looking forward to album number three... ;)

4.5/5 - MetalCrypt - Michel Renaud

It’s hard to not like a band called JOE THRASHER, ain’t it? And then, a song called ‘Canadian Metal’ and another called ‘Metal Til You Puke’ (next line, of course, is “all over the stage”)? Uh, yeah, count me in. This Ottawa band delivers the metallic goods with surprisingly high quality levels here, everything from production sound (top notch) to playing ability (excellent, even if they choose to keep it stoopid most of the time) being at the big league levels. The band plays a strain of thrash that’s somewhere between Germany and Vancouver, kind of like a DESTRUCTION-lite by way of Jeff Waters filtered through, oh, classic EXCITER and some bands you and I both forgot about, but they had, like, at least an album AND a live EP (with one bonus studio track; the EP may or may not have been called Live +1) on Metal Blade in ’87. Hard to believe this one is an indie, with so much thrash revival stuff going on out there these days on big metal labels; maybe it’s that there’s more trad metal here, mainly in the gruff “melodic” vox and stomping, four on the floor anthemic choruses. I mean, check out the 1:36 ‘Leatherhead’, or the blood-pumping ‘We Are The Ones’… if you’ve got metal in your veins, this is as good as it gets, in many ways. One of the smarter larger metal labels should be sniffing around Joe Thrasher’s door soon… or at least a bigger Canadian indie could court them a bit, buy them a goddamn dinner, if there’s any justice out there.

8.5/10 - brave words & bloody knuckles - Greg Pratt

I thoroughly enjoyed Joe Thrasher‘s previous album, so when the opportunity to arose to review the new album, I was definitely interested. Admittedly, the ‘sophomore’ album curse always causes a little trepidation but in this case it was worry for nothing. On Cries of War, Joe Thrasher have taken a giant step forward in sound, songwriting, and performance. For Cries of War, Joe Thrasher have refined their collective influences into a sound that evokes some of the finest thrash bands ever to emerge from Canada without sounding ‘just like’ any of them. Even the cover of Exciter’s ‘Canadian Metal’ has Joe Thrasher’s stamp on it (Exciter are probably the most obvious influence on this album) and it’s an excellent way to close out the album.

Right from the beginning though it is obvious that Joe Thrasher not only want to make you bang your head, they want you to remember these songs for a long time. The shouted background vocals underneath the gravel throated roar of singer/bassist Scott Wark are nothing new, but they work so well on the chorus of ‘Cries of War’, ‘This is A Test’ and ‘Out For Blood’ that those choruses will stick I’m your head for days. All three members of Joe Thrasher’s have really put forth an amazing effort to create both ‘songs’ and a complete album here. There is no showing off outside of what is needed for the song and as a result the entire band shines.

There is an obvious passion for what Joe Thrasher are doing and they manage to create an incredible 80's thrash sound without sounding like a retro band. It’s also worth noting that the band does not resort to bad production to help capture the sound either, Cries of War is a crisp piece of metal that would sound really good on vinyl (hint, hint)!

Cries of War, in my opinion, push Joe Thrasher much closer to the head of the pack not just in Canadian thrash, but Canadian metal in general.

9/10 - by Jason Wellwood


2006 - Demo One
2007 - Speed Kills EP
2009 - Metal Forces
2011 - Cries of War



Joe Thrasher have shared stages with Anvil, Exciter, Joey Belladonna (Anthrax), Death Angel, Evile, Destruction and numerous other big name metal bands.

Joe Thrasher is more than a metal band. That guy banging his head in his basement bedroom? He's Joe Thrasher. That girl who is five feet tall and 100 pounds but decides to start the mosh pit? She's Joe Thrasher.

As a band, Ottawa-area-based Joe Thrasher brings those thrashers together in a mix of harddriving metal-glorifying songs and tunes that, while still driving hard, showcase the band's thoughts on everything from war to the decay of society. A mix of thrash, NWOBHM, hard rock and speed metal, Joe Thrasher is an old-school metal feast that appeals to everyone from the traditional metalhead to more modern metal-based fans.

The live stage is where Joe Thrasher comes alive. Playing the Ontario and Quebec regions quite frequently has gained the band a loyal following. Sweat, speed, raw emotion and pure adrenalin are in abundance at a live Joe Thrasher show. Ultimately, this is where Joe Thrasher, the band and the fan comes alive. Joe Thrasher looks forward to expanding their following, and breaking into new territories with the release of their second album “Cries Of War” in 2011.

While it all seems fitting with the current events and worldwide decay, the overall meaning of Cries of War – the song and the album – is of light coming out of the dark. The song itself also deals with getting back to more primitive times, and how our western world has become a “weakened society” through our reliance on our own “creations of ease”. The artwork of Joe Petagno showing a total state of chaos is a true feast for the eyes. Amongst the mayhem comes “Joe Thrasher,” the light from the dark. But will we have to meet the ultimate end for this to happen? Other songs, such as “Life Erodes,” “We Are The Ones” and “This is a Test” deal with life in general – trying times, growing old, questioning the world. While touching on negative issues, the tracks always bring a positive feeling to listeners. There are also songs like “Out for Blood,” “Metal 'till You Puke,” “Leatherhead” and “Canadian Metal” that continue the Joe Thrasher tradition of pit-based, headbanging, out-of-control, raise-yourfist-and-scream MAYHEM. These are true metal scorchers. Cries Of War is bound to be a classic metal album.