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4: Rise Of The Mosh Mongers

Napalm (2013)
Rating: 6/10

No prizes for the dreadful album title, but Sweden’s F.K.Ü. are another bunch of merry thrashers to emerge from the Napalm Records roster. Sadly, when I found out that the initials of F.K.Ü. stood for Freddy Krueger’s Underwear, I reached for the sick bucket in order to empty my entrails in disgust at another band jumping on the thrash revival bandwagon.

However, F.K.Ü. doesn’t just evoke images of doom and gloom within my weary soul, because 4: Rise Of The Mosh Mongers isn’t that bad an album from a band that has apparently been around since the late 1980s. Legend has it, these guys were on hiatus forever but returned in the late 90s with their Metal Moshing Mad debut (1999), which was followed by three more albums, including this 17-track affair.

F.K.Ü., who claim to be influenced by 80s horror movies and old copies of our very own Metal Forces magazine, are a quartet fronted by the imaginatively named Larry Lethal, who is grand leader of a thrash lunatic asylum featuring other inmates, Pete Stooaahl (guitar), Pat Splat (bass) and Dr. Ted Killer Miller (drums).

For the most part it’s standard thrash that combines the chaos of S.O.D. with the crunching mayhem of Exodus, Metal Church, Lääz Rockit, Anthrax and, to a lesser extent, Testament and Vio-lence. Larry Lethal’s vocals are rather formulaic at times, although he does have the insane ability to shift between Chuck Billy (Testament) growls and tortured, high-pitched screams and psychotic rants, which remind me of Sean Killian of Vio-lence fame.

As expected, there’s the usual humour which can at times hinder thrash metal acts; ‘Cannibal Detox’, ‘Scream Bloody Mosher’ and ‘Anthem Of The Moshoholics’ just a trio of those which resort to hilarity. However, for the most part this platter is extremely pacey and quite musically accomplished, even if it can’t help but resort to the usual bog standard chanted choruses and archetypal chugs.

I doubt F.K.Ü. have enough in the tank to rise above the rest of the moshmongers who’ve been doing the rounds since the late 90s but, despite the naïve lyrical content, this album proves to be more rewarding than so many others at the moment. Maybe that is down to the fact that these guys were actually part of the scene back in the day, and maybe they’ve taken that experience and incorporated it into their current sound.

However, I do admire anyone who can sit through more than an album’s worth of this, because there are only so many nights I can spend listening to the bastard offspring of Exodus and Anthrax when it’d be much easier, and far more fulfilling, to slap on the originals.

Neil Arnold

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