Alkira – Juggernaut (Album Review)

Whack me in the daks with a maggoty cat and tickle my arse with a feather – these South Australian lads from the fine town of Strathalbyn, Adelaide Hills, have done it again! I had the pleasure of reviewing their EP “Red Devil” a few moons ago and had my hands down my pants in anticipation of this release. When the fine crew at Metal-Roos brought me out of retirement and told me to strap the boots one more time to give the new Alkira album “Juggernaut” a spin, I jumped at it like a fat kid at a chocolate convention.

THIS IS THRASH MAN, from the onset to the very end!! From the initial acoustic beginning, it just builds and builds and builds, oh ok, and builds again. I can’t say enough good things about these guys – this is thrash at its finest and I’ve been around the traps for many many years – my greying hair, creaking bones, and beer gut don’t lie! – this is as good as anything I’ve heard in a bloody long time. The greats of the genre like Exodus, Death Angel have released albums recently and Alkira without a word of a lie are on par with those guys in execution, musicianship, and all-around performance. Juggernaut grabbed a dirty old wet fish and slapped me across my hideous mug with more anger than most of the albums I’ve heard from thrash outfits worldwide in the past couple of years.

Submission Therapy is a wow for an opening track and gives you a feel for what the rest of the album is going to be like. It’s fast, nasty and I just wanted to rip my shirt off and have a one-man-mosh in my bedroom thrashing like a crazed lunatic – it is seriously mean!

Other highlights for me were the tracks Inebriated State, Land Of The Sodomite Damned to name… well, the whole lot to be honest. I didn’t want to point definite tracks out for the sole reason there isn’t a weak point on this Alkira release. It’s like being in the ring with a 20-year-old Mike Tyson, judge it as you will, but it’s gonna come at you with a vengeance, bad intentions and more than likely knock you the f**k out!!

Musically they don’t miss a trick, tight as a nuns clacker as you would expect from their previous releases but with a lot more energy. Drumming from Ryan Quarrington is a master class, none of this making love to the skins. He pounds the shit of them like a sadistic monster, ouch! And the axe men Gregory Challis, Kyle Simpson, and Shaun Grubel are so in sync it’s a pleasure for the senses, reminding me a lot of early Sepultura, along with the vocals and that’s nothing to turn your nose up at.

Production-wise, the engineers have done a fabulous job; blending and churning this album beautifully and I absolutely love the guitar sound. I also noticed a subtle change in the guitars to an Entombed/Bloodbath Stockholm chainsaw sound for a short period. See if you can find it, it’s great work!

Overall this album Juggernaut by Alkira is by far the tightest – musically and lyrically – aggressive thrash release from any Australian band in the past couple of years without doubt- I’d bet my meat and two vegs that no one will match it in the near future. Alkira is on top of their game with this album. It’s a lesson for other bands now to step up to a high mark that’s been set in the thrash scene by these South Australian freaks and give it a shot. I’m telling you, you had better be on your game coz these guys have given us the Australian thrash album of the year, all hail ALKIRA!!!

Oh sh… I nearly forgot, there’s a lovely little Sepultura cover to thrown in as a bonus track adding a bit more cream to the already chocker block thrash donut that your pie hole has already been munching on. So buy the album, idiots, ummmm otherwise you’ll be idiots…

Release Year: 2014
Label: self-released
Category: Album
Country: Australia

Reviewed by Hayden G.M.