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Tales Of Mayhem

United States Country of Origin: United States

1. Interceptor
2. Tales Of Mayhem
3. Wehrmacht
4. Slut
5. Bestial Night
6. Into The Hellmouth
7. Violent Metal
8. Witch's Dance
9. Hatred
10. 50 Megatons
11. No Mercy

Review by Vladimir on June 29, 2024.

In recent years, we had a big explosion of extreme youth in the world of heavy metal, with so many new awesome bands coming out like a bolt of lightning. One of those bands is the US black/speed/heavy metal band Interceptor from Charleston, South Carolina, who have been constantly defiling and poisoning with extreme metal violence since 2022. Along the way, they have released some singles, demos and one compilation as well, but it was really a matter of time when the turn will come for a full-length album. Come June 22nd, 2024, Interceptor finally released their highly anticipated debut full-length album Tales Of Mayhem, which came out on vinyl and cassette via Motorpunk Records, and digitally on Blitzhammer Records. Without wasting any more time, we’re now going to jump straight into this thrill ride of violent heavy metal. 

Kicking things off with the self-titled track 'Interceptor', we are instantly welcomed to hell with intense raw energy and bastardly heavy/speed metal, screaming from the speakers like a maniac, whilst preaching the Tales Of Mayhem. From the very get-go, you can hear that Interceptor is all about first wave black metal and New Wave of British Heavy Metal, but predominantly leaning toward a strong Venom worship, where you can definitely spot on a lot of traits from Venom’s first four albums and early demos as well. Some of these traits include Bulldozer Arenvurst incorporating Cronos signature vocal style and overdriven bass guitar, Mantas influenced riffing and guitar solos, and Abaddon-like drumming, but you can also hear some New Wave of British Heavy Metal elements, coming from bands like Tank, Atomkraft and Warfare just to name a few, some hardcore punk like GBH and Discharge, and some Motörhead just for good measure. Although many would be tempted to say that Interceptor is a Venom clone, it is nonetheless a very authentic and faithful one if anything, because they do everything so spot on like it’s 1981/1982 again, with the dirty sound, occult atmosphere and barbaric quality to it. All the way through, this album delivers plenty of heavy bangers that display this primitive musicianship in the band’s absolutely savage performance, pretty much wrecking everything apart while sacrificing a virgin or two. Singles such as 'Into The Hellmouth', 'Witch’s Dance' and 'Hatred' did a pretty good job at teasing the bestial devastation of Interceptor’s highly anticipated full-length, but I think that the rest of the tracklist does an even better job by following along nicely to this mayhemic destruction, making you feel it was absolutely worth waiting. Well, talk about pay off, because once you come to the conclusion to this maniac journey with the final track 'No Mercy', you really feel it was all worth the while, because the entire Tales Of Mayhem certainly had no mercy from start to finish. 

The songwriting on Tales Of Mayhem is very simple and straightforward with its furiously hellish rock and roll overdrive from beginning to end, with every execution being so effectively carried out and on point. Interceptor’s work on this album truly does feel both like a love letter and a throwback to those years when extreme metal was beginning to take shape, growing out of the hardcore punk and NWOBHM, but without leaving out the essential elements of both genres. What this album successfully does is that it keeps you hooked and engaged all the way through, and with its stylistic consistency, it doesn’t become less interesting or generic as the album progresses, even when you come across some slower moments like on '50 Megatons' because it still maintains that heaviness and darkness in the music. When bands tackle on their music with a simplistic approach, you would at least expect them to approach it right and carefully, and Interceptor did that very well, because no song feels stupid or dumbed down to the point where you can’t feel the riffs and their heaviness, so it really is a matter of talking the talk, but walking the walk. Weirdly enough, when you really get into the album, you sort of manage to lose track of time and you don’t feel like the whole thing lasts over 40 and a half minutes, because it goes by so fast with full throttle, especially when Interceptor speeds it up towards the end of the last track 'No Mercy'. I guess that’s the magic of the album, the fact that it keeps you so invested and it keeps your attention high, to the point where you can’t believe it’s all over, but it’s got a really good comeback factor to it which will make you listen to it all over again and relive those bangers. This album really brings back the pissed off teenager within me, because it truly throws me back to the years when I had first heard Venom and then dived even deeper with first wave black metal, so it’s got a true sense of nostalgia to it as well. As for the production, Tales Of Mayhem really has an authentic sound of Venom’s first two albums, "Welcome To Hell" and "Black Metal", bringing out that dirty guitar tone, thunderous drums, echoing vocals and bulldozer distorted bass, with the rawness to the sound that is very demo-like in quality. 

I have already said it a million times before, and I am gonna say it again, Tales Of Mayhem is such an ideal album made for hardcore fans of Venom and the dirtier bands in the NWOBHM movement. It’s got everything you would ever want, from the evil rock and roll to the ugly sound production, and Interceptor successfully brought it all together with all the powers of hell. People who have been following these guys for a while, have already expressed their absolute satisfaction towards this album, and I just can’t imagine what they will come up with next, because this is like a real punch in the gut that makes you vomit blood, while your room is on fire. This is without a doubt a killer album that does everything so right that you just can’t help but recommend it to all the dedicated and loyal fans of first wave black metal and NWOBHM. 

Rating: 8.7 out of 10