Septagon – Deadhead Syndicate (Cruz del Sur Music)

Genre: Thrash/Speed Metal

When Septagon are firing on all cylinders, they’re a formidable proposition. The Germans’ take on sleek, melodic thrash – best represented in the outstanding Exit… Gunfire – is a powerful one, with nods to Bay Area alumni such as Forbidden and Heathen. Plus, in guitarists Markus Ullrich and Stef Binnig-Gollub, they have two masters of rapid-fire picking – granted the pair are no King and Hanneman, but their blazing fretwork brings extra punch to the likes of Septagon Conspiracy.

The problem with Deadhead Syndicate (apart from some cheesy lyrics) is that while there are some high explosive shells in the ammo box, there are quite a few duds  too: closer Secret Silver Panorama Machine, for instance, is an ill-judged mess, while the disappointing Ripper doesn’t exactly live up to its name.

Still, the quintet show promise on their debut and could yet carve out a name for themselves: they certainly can play, that’s for sure.