Bonded – Rest In Violence (Century Media)

After being unceremoniously dumped out of Sodom by Tom Angelripper, guitarist Bernd ‘Bernemann’ Kost and sticksman Markus ‘Makka’ Freiwal could have sat back and waited for the offers to come in. The German duo, who played together in Sodom for most of the last decade, have an impressive skill set. They surely wouldn’t have needed to spend much time updating their LinkedIn profiles before one big metal band or another came calling with vacancies to fill.

But after their experience with ‘Onkel Tom’, maybe going their own way felt like a better bet. Bonded saw Bernemann and Makka pull vocalist Ingo Bajoncza, six stringer Chris Tsitsis (formerly of Suicidal Angels) and bassist Marc Hauschild into their comeback plans, and Rest In Violence is the result.

As you’d expect, it’s laden with the thrash class and metal suss that the former Sodom men bring with them. Arrival blazes with quick-fire, scorched earth riffs, Godgiven flexes Bonded’s melodic muscles to the beat of Kost’s pummelling rhythms, Suit Murderer is a merciless onslaught of Teutonic thrash a la 21st century Kreator and the title track, featuring Overkill’s Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth, screams in with a scintillating NY/Ruhr mash-up.

Sadly, Rest In Violence suffers from a little inconsistency. No Cure For Life’s emotional intensity is neutered by Bajoncza’s rasp: his style works perfectly on the likes of Suit Murderer, but not on a song which requires a Dio rather than a Lemmy. Je Suis Charlie succumbs to a similar problem, while Where Silence Reverberates (bar some fretboard flourishes towards its conclusion) sounds like it could have been written by any B-list European thrash act. Compared to the likes of The Rattle & The Snake, it’s a dull, plodding distraction.

However, despite a few flaws, Bonded’s debut has laid the groundwork for a new force in German thrash. And it marks the start of an exciting new chapter for two of the scene’s most talented players.

We’ll raise a stein to that.