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Thunderstruck (1984)

Bangers in the New Jersey area will no doubt be familiar with Whiplash from the days when they went under the moniker of Jackhammer.

Thunderstruck is the band’s second demo, under their new name (the first was Fire Away) and more than suggests that Whiplash will be up there thrashing with the likes of Slayer, Exciter and Exodus before too long.

Whiplash play their metal fast ‘n’ furious with plenty of aggression, highlighted by the excellent axework of Tony Portaro. The guitarist, who also handles the vocals, delivers some superb soloing over the thunderous, driving rhythms laid down by ex-Metal Disciples bassist Tony Bono and drummer T.J. Scaglione.

‘King With The Axe’ opens the demo in classic thrash fashion. The excellent ‘Spit On Your Grave’ and aptly titled ‘Thrash ‘Till Death’ follow and are the closest offerings I’ve heard to Slayer yet, while ‘Chained Up, Strapped Down’ reproduces the intense mayhem of Exciter on their classic Heavy Metal Maniac album. But don’t be misled into thinking that Whiplash are no more than rip-off merchants, because the comparisons act only as a guide to their potential. I’m sure the band will become a power metal force in their own right.

Bernard Doe

Review taken from Metal Forces, Issue 9 (1984)

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