Murder Van have unleashed hell with their four track EP “Crooked Smiles” on the 17th of December and my god it is amazing, so much so that the four tracks were not enough to satiate my appetite that I had to go and listen to their self-titled debut from 2018.
Upon hearing the opening riff of “Clawing The Casket” you are immediately blown away by the power and ferocity of a thrash/death fest, pounding drums, a killer bass line, gritty guitars and brutal vocals, this is a real throw-back to “Morbid Visions” era Sepultura, early Kreator and to death metal innovators Death, a monster of track. Title track “Crooked Smiles” continues the onslaught with a heavy Slayer Esque opening riff that absolutely kills, the thumping bass line and blistering drums lay a great foundation for Tharp’s vocals which are savage as he floats between thrash and death style a brilliant track.
“Factor X” opens up with a softly picked guitar that reels you in before a pummeling drum and savage bass beat the living shit out of you as Tharp come growling in over the top, the crushing riffs add to the heaviness giving you the best track on the EP. “Hatchet Wound” finishes it all off in dramatic fashion, a frantic frenzied track that will melt the skin off your face, at the breakdown the chugging riffs aided by a thumping bass push the track over the top.
This is a monster EP, old school with a serious kick