This outrageous time in human history, a globalized and self-destructive mass hysteria taking place across hideous digital fantasy worlds, has dulled the senses of those born into a generation too busy with self-obsession to glean musical personality from a grand history of outrageous music. The 1980’s are not only the perfectly diabolic analogue for today’s mass-hypnotized naive follower culture but that gigantic pool of fantastic heavy metal music prophesied this age of attention-deficit torpedoed, overwhelmed cyborg-brainchildren. An education in rebellion, fantasy, heresy and prophetic doom sits dormant in wax waiting for you to delete your worthless social media zeitgeist and start dipping into the grand chalice of meaning the heavy, thrash, speed, power, death and doomed excess of the past still holds. Why go there? As the apex of history repeating itself crowns in front of you today’s suffocating, trend-humping non-music isn’t the right soundtrack at all. Not about to take the initiative? Not willing to pick up a thousand amazing 80’s records? Get the gist of why it’d be exciting to explore and go grab this EP from Melbourne, Australia based power-thrashers Galaxy! ‘Lost From the Start’ is a blast, a dive into the polished and wailing enormity of mid-to-late 80’s thrash from the most puritanical of heavy metal viewpoints, the Judas Priest loving power/thrash metal wailers who could chunk out a pre-’88 Metallica-sized banger in their sleep.
You should be foaming at the mouth at the mere mention of Agent Steel, Riot, Liege Lord, Tyrant (Pasadena, CA), but hey, if you’re just not big on 80’s Priest, King Diamond and the incredible stable of bands they’d influence in the four decades since, sure you’re on your own there… Every bit of this EP lives and breathes that kind of stuff while Galaxy throw in a healthy dose of riffs that feel like direct pulls from the best of pre-‘…And Justice For All’ Metallica, Megadeth, alongside a vocalist who can swing hard between King Diamond falsetto wails and the over-the-top push of John Cyriis on ‘Unstoppable Force’. ‘Lost From the Start’ is a powerful, heavy as fuck throwback to a ‘true metal’ niche of speed metal that rarely manifested with any taste until the internet made self-directed heavy metal education easier. More importantly, these Australians nail their sound beyond pure worship.
Without getting too lost in referencing a lifetime obscure speed metal diarrhea what I think will grip most listeners ears is first and foremost the versatile higher-register of Philip King‘s vocals. The Rob Halford and King Diamond influence is initially most evident in his to-the-limit wailing on “Dreaming Out”. Theatricality without reaching an absurd level of cheese is an art and I think King does a great job of knowing the limit without sounding restrained. Once I’d familiarized myself with ‘Lost From the Start’ my attention spun towards two main guitar riffs of “Dreaming Out” that are yanked from ‘Ride the Lighting’ (or nearby) almost verbatim. I love this kind of thing, I mean dive into any ‘second tier’ thrash from the mid-to-late 80’s and they were building off of those most popular works of the time, structurally and in terms of sound design, but I get it if a too-clear reference bugs some listners. The only point where I was thrown on the full listen was the title track; “Lost From the Start” begins with a reference to “Hangar 18” that I wasn’t all that sure about until the rhythm track evolved nicely beyond the intro. The energetic neck-thrashing heavy metal thrust of Galaxy does a great service to their influences, obvious or not. “Paradise” is probably the point where I was fully sold on this EP with its intermittent whalesong-esque psychedelic vocal atop a mid-paced Bay Area thrash riffing.
The street-jamming pure metal speedball that Galaxy brings on this debut is one of the better heavy metal EPs released in the second half of 2019. I don’t see their obvious influences being divisive and I see a ton of potential where they could take this style using King‘s range. High recommendation. For preview purposes I’d recommend focusing on the pairing of “Sons of Titan” and “Paradise” for a window into why this EP is exceptional.
Seen only before in the sky. 4.0/5.0
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