First of all the name, Bull-Riff Stampede, has to be one of the coolest names for a metal band ever, and it’s quite a suited name for their death metal influenced style of crushingly heavy thrash. Scatter the Ground is Bull-Riff Stampede’s debut album, a 46 minute epic made up of hasty aggression, power and exuberance that is created by using an onslaught of vicious guitar lines, insanely heavy rhythm sections and one of the most brutal, yet articulate voices in metal. The UK has a tendency to spawn forth so many vicious bands, but there is something about Bull-Riff Stampede that sets them apart from the masses and makes them a name that people will not forget.
The best bit about Scatter the Ground is that the tempo never falters throughout the entirety of the album. It has two speeds and they are fast and unbelievably fast. Its how thrash metal should be played, none of this namby pamby melodic stuff that comes from the likes of Gama Bomb and Bonded by Blood, it’s got to be fast, aggressive and feels like it’s going to rip your goddamn face off! Tracks like the foot stomping bounce of ‘Bled to the Arena’, the powerful driving anthem that is ‘Thrashing Machine’ and the ferocious ‘Minotour’, are all highlights of the album in which aggression is at the forefront of this musical assault and when they are played through speakers at full volume really will blow your ear drums wide open!
Lead vocalist Dave Garnett has a monster of a voice, which is needed when it comes to thrash metal. The power, authority and control of every note, mixed with the aggression and grit needed to distort his voice is superb, and without him behind the mic, tracks like ‘My Worst Nightmare’, ‘Advance and Conquer’ and ‘Ten’, would not be as memorable and skull pummelling as they are. He is one of the worlds most underrated and best thrash metal vocalist, not to mention one of the UK’s most hostile metal singers.
There are moments on this album that do sound a bit samey, but this is Bull-Riff Stampede’s debut album, and with time and experience Bull-Riff Stampede could be a force not to be messed with. Their mixture of crushingly belligerence and catchy melody really makes them a band to remember and it’s just unfortunate that at points on Scatter the Ground there is a lack of ideas and diversity. But, hey ho, it’s brutal, its heavy, its fast. What more can you ask for in a thrash metal record?
Bull-Riff Stampede is a band that you need to check out now and if full out aggression and noises similar to a grizzly bear ripping an old woman apart is your cup of tea, then you are going to love this band – just make sure you turn it up to 11 and bang your head hard to it! [7/10]