For as long as I can remember I’ve based my musical acquisitions a lot on location. In my tape trading days I’d request something I wanted to hear and have the dubbed 90 minute tape filled with something seemingly more left field.
It’s weird how I remember this, but one of my earliest trades featured Helloween’s Walls of Jericho E.P. and an pre Abigail record from King Diamond. The rest of the tape included the 1987 demo Keep Fit, F**k More… by Death Power and I only requested that because it was from France, and one, if not the first, thing I had by a band from Europe’s third biggest country.
Ever since I’ve been intrigued in far flung places and their musical scenes. In the old paper fanzines I did I’d inevitably include a scene report or a band from a place most people couldn’t find on a map. I’d trawl the pen pal and advertising section of something like Metal Forces for the “weird” addresses. Now in the digital age if I see something pop up from somewhere that looks unexpected then I rarely pass it over. This way I’ve discovered amazing bands from Greece, Italy and Spain amongst others.
I think with me living on an island some of the fantastic European bands, whether they be hardcore or metal based, don’t get a following here unless it’s on a decent sized label with good distribution. On the mainland it seems different as a band in the Czech Republic for example can jump in their vehicle and in a matter of hours could be playing in Germany, Poland, Slovakia or Austria. If the same band wanted to play a gig in the UK it’s a long drive, a ferry then another drive or maybe four expensive flights. Unless they’re on a tour and are coming here for a number of days it’s not economically viable to head over here off their own back.
In light of my fondness for all things different I stared looking into other places that I have nothing from and last night I came up with the idea of posting something from every European country! It’s going to take a while to post something from all 55, and it’ll be an expensive experiment because of course I want a CD from as many regions as I can. Facebook, Bandcamp, YouTube and the Metal Archives will also be invaluable.
If you Google a list of European sovereign states it’ll only give you 49. I’ve based my list on FIFA and UEFA’s idea of Europe. That way I can include the four countries that make up the United Kingdom and a couple of others that have representative teams qualifying for the next Euro tournament.
I want to keep as many of the 55 thrash metal, just to see how it translates over the various borders, but making a quick list last night that’s not going to be possible for some places and it might have to be a death metal or black metal outfit. Also many bands that pique my interest may not have a commercial release or a video readily available. I also foresee some tenuous connections for a few countries. My aim is 55 countries and 55 bands that aren’t established in the mainstream, but if some places make it hard to pick one there could be more bands (I’m looking at you Germany, Italy, Slovenia and Denmark in particular!)
So that’s the back ground done so on to the music. The band I’ve chosen to start the proceedings are Acid Force who hail from Banská Bystrica, pretty much slap bang in the middle of Slovakia. 🇸🇰
I was first made aware of these crossover thrashers when they were included on a list of the 100 new thrash metal albums that had been keeping the scene alive this century – or something like that, I can’t find the original list post at the moment. There were none of the big bands on there (Metallica, Slayer, Kreator etc) so it was mainly bands formed post 2000.
I have a thing for lists so I went through my library just out of curiosity to see how many of the century worth of albums I owned and it turned out to be not many. Every time I came across a band I hadn’t encountered it was a visit to the digital platforms to check them out. I loved what I was hearing from these guys on their Bandcamp page and I needed the CD. Three weekends ago my package from Slovakia arrived, the CD is great and the shirt (yes I had to buy another shirt) is something different to wear at gigs and impress people with regarding my global thrash metal knowledge.
Atrocity For The Lust was released back in March this year and can be sampled at their Bandcamp page . If you like it buy yourself a copy, Andrej is a great guy. Another band added to the long list of those I hope to catch on a stage one day!