FABULOUS DESASTER - Off With Their Heads

Fabulous Desaster - Off With Their Heads

10 songs
45:07 minutes
***** ****
Black Sunset


It wasnít hard to guess what kind of music to expect from German metal band Fabulous Desaster. Their name is taken from the third Exodus album which was released in 1989, except that they spell the second word of their name in German, either ass a nod to their home country, or because their used to be a now defunct punk band called Fabulous Disaster.

I have to admit that apart from Bonded By Blood, I have never been the biggest fan of Exodus. Somehow the Bay Area thrash pioneers started out furiously with a ferocious cult album, but later forgot how to write memorable songs. And that brings us to Fabulous Desaster from Bonn, the former capital city of Germany. They were founded in 2010, and after an early EP and three demos, their debut album Hang ĎEm High was released in 2016, followed in late 2018 by its successor Off With Their Heads. Once again, the retro thrash fashion is all nice and pleasant, but true highlights are few and far between. One of the rare exceptions is this second album by the German thrash quartet which is a forty-five minute non-stop high speed ride through everything which made early speed thrash metal so fantastic, and the best thing is that this is not an exercise in form, but really a masterpiece of content.

The opener The Dealer takes you back thirty years in the past. The guitars are shredding as if there were no tomorrow, the rhythm section is pummelling its way through the sonic onslaught, and then you have the hysterically barked vocals that rarely take a break from speaking its venom. Yes, the parallels to Exodus are obvious, but the Bay Area thrashers havenít written such a powerful grenade in more than thirty years. Another highlight are the recurring backing vocals that remind me a little of forgotten German thrashers Living Death. Other bands that might have influenced these guys are Nuclear Assault and the obscure Indestructible Noise Command. The following Abra Cadaver is one of the best thrash songs I have ever heard. You have to hear it to believe it! The chorus is catchy as hell, and the high speed delivery makes sure this is anything but a dud. Other highlights include the title track with its weird chord sequences during the chorus, and also Family Values.

Maybe not every track is an instant classic, but this album contains more of those than most bands write in their entire career. In the Nineties, many thrash metal bands slowed down their pace to turn their minds to more groove oriented mid-tempo metal, and frankly I still resent that development. Fabulous Desaster show that itís possible to make a 100% speed thrash metal album without sounding boring or repetitive. Maybe some of their older peers are just too tired to play fast. And thatís why I will keep listening to Fabulous Desaster. Off With Their Heads might just be the most amazing thrash metal of the year.

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