Formed in 2010, Edinburgh thrashers Black Talon follow up their 2015 debut Endless Realities (Wasted State Records) with independently released five-track EP Existential. Sounding like a modern Scottish version of the 1980s Bay Area, this short release is replete with riffs and melodies similar to the likes of Forbidden, Testament and Dark Angel with vocals owing a debt to Vio-Lence and UK thrashmonkeys Acid Reign.
‘Existential Crisis’ kicks things off, its fast and furious punk attitude combining with a stomping, melodic middle section all topped off with a frantic dive-bombing guitar solo. ‘Descent’ follows next, a short instrumental reminiscent of Death Angel overlaid with spoken samples which segues nicely into ‘Deprecation Zone’, a mid-paced face-flattener which explodes into a faster, gallopy beast as it progresses.
‘Unmarked Grave’ begins with a Spanish style acoustic intro played over the faint sounds of shoveled earth, its lengthy intro giving way to a slow-paced Slayer inspired riff before seriously kicking off just after the four-minute mark. Closing track ‘Mentality Divine’ rounds things off nicely, another song which exchanges a methodical build-up for speed and aggression.
Featuring slow-burning, complex structures and a raw sound complete with classic gang vocals, Existential is a thoroughly enjoyable release that should appeal to fans of fast and hairy thrash.
7 / 10