Kaustic Attack – Pseudo War (EP Review)

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Kaustic Attack’s 2014 EP, titled Pseudo War, is their latest release, and the subject of today’s review. It’s a three-part Thrash-Metal epic, which heavily reminds me of Slayer as I listen to it, with elements of Anthrax included. Essentially, it is 80’s Thrash incarnate, and it’s high-octane, intimidating, and addictive.

Guitarist/Backup Vocalist Josh Hyndman, Guitar/Vocalist Tim Mastricht, Drummer Josh Hendo and Bassist/Backup Vocalist Sean Matulich sent me a physical copy of this EP, which was really cool! The artwork, depicting a warzone in an abyssal landscape was also really well done. From the looks of it, they produced this EP themselves (as well) which impresses me, as all three of the songs on this release are very well done.

The opening track, “Pseudo War” begins with sirens, screaming and what sounds like the beginning of some sort of bomber strike… and then the music starts. Screams, frantic rhythm work, furious percussion, energy and volume to 11. My favourite parts of this track were the verses, the lead bits (the guitarist, I mean holy s***, that shredding though) and how everything flowed together really seamlessly. Well done!

The second piece, “Hellfire”, is a different beast. Opening with clean-yet-modulated guitar melodies and precise fill work, and melting into a much less anxious feel than the first track. Nice contrast between the two songs that I’ve listened to on this EP so far. The lyrics are quite cool on this song, too – “You are the chosen one, the one to others straight into the depths of hell” – great phrasing, use of verbal rhythm, etc. The vocalist is very much a wordsmith. Oh, and also, the breakdown near the end, and the solo on top of it in the second half? Sick.

The final part of the EP, “Devolution”, is a very fast and hectic addition. It’s also aggressive – “fuck your god(?) and fuck your government, take my hand cause we’re not dead yet!” but that’s appropriate for what the songs are about. This track appears to be about a sort of anarchistic uprising and it’s dope as hell. Need a song to rile you up and get you pumped? This is that track… well, until it gets to the beautiful interlude section. Seriously, it’s gorgeous. And again, not to nag on about the lead guitarring, but that shredder’s subtle soloing suits the rhythm, bass, and drums for it so well. AND THERE’S A LITTLE BASS SOLO BEFORE ANOTHER LEAD SOLO. I love that zazz.

Yeah, I’m well impressed with these guys. I can’t fault them. If they keep this up, they could have themselves a near-perfect thrash album. Kaustic Attack, keep up the great work!