B. Fanciulli | United States | 11/27/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first of two albums released by Portland, Oregon's terribly under-appreciated Wehrmacht. While not as well produced as the follow-up, Shark Attack is more consistantly fast and the guitar work is more technical. Think early Megadeth with ultra-fast drumming and Kreator solos.
Wehrmacht was arguably the first band to be coined speed-core for this extremely fast metallic hardcore. Though their speedy crossover sound, technical guitar work, and campy lyrics were predated by the likes of S.O.D., Wehrmacht is definitely deserving of the speed-core badge. Napalm Death and other grindcore heavyweights consider them major influences.
The vocalist and guitarist went on to front the funky progressive grind band Spazztic Blurr. Drummer Brian Lehfeldt joined Cryptic Slaughter then the much more tame Sweaty Nipples.
This 2000 rerelease of the 1986 classic has been recorded from vinyl, so there is a slight hiss heard through the album and occasional popping. Still, it's far better than the old cassette! If Amazon doesn't have it in stock, check New Renaissance's website."
One of the best bands period ...
Fritz | Spokane, WA | 08/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A few years ago, I had gotten into one of the most distinctive and original bands to ever grace the planet, Sweaty Nipples. The thing I absolutely loved about Sweaty Nipples was their ability to seamlessly blend punk, metal, industrial, grunge, and funk ... all while maintaining a homogenous sound of their own, but being that there won't be any new Sweaty Nipples material coming out anytime soon, once you've gotten all the available albums and EP's, what is one to do? At the time I did not even know what Wehrmacht was ... well you know how when you're on the internet, Windows Media Player c an look up any cd you put in, and you click that thing and it tells you all about the cd with the list of related artists at the bottom? That's where I found this name ... Wehrmacht. It was the only band under "Related Artists" for Sweaty Nipples. I clicked the name, not expecting much. Then I read a little on their bio, learning that Brian Lehfeldt was in Wehrmacht before he was in Sweaty Nipples, and described in some places as "the fastest band in metal." I figured it'd be an okay collectors item to have, as it was Sweaty Nipples-related ...
Upon first listen to "Shark Attack", all I got was the sensation of a barrage of noise. Sure, I'm a metalhead, and yes, thrash is my favorite form of metal, I like Blind Illusion, Artillery, Tourniquet, Megadeth, Sacrifice, Death Angel, Heathen, Testament, Kreator, and so on ... but when it comes to speed, Wehrmacht was blowing all these bands away. But the whole barrage of noise thing took some getting used to ... there was really only so much of Lehfeldt's bapbapbapbapbapbapbapbap drumming I could take before I had to turn it off. Then I began to realize something ... not only can Wehrmacht play really fast and really complicated, but, they are actually good songwriters. Wehrmacht began to take a presence all their own on my favorite list, and now, I love Wehrmacht, over Sweaty Nipples. I can handle the intensity that comes with this now ... the whole album of it, it just took some getting used to. Indeed, if you put this cd in, and keep listening, a day later, you might notice that you have a certain part of one of these songs stuck your head, no you can't understand a word Tito sings, as he goes so fast, but really ... Wehrmacht could write songs that not only as fast as humanly possible to play, but they had the uncanny ability to make them catchy by throwing in an unconventionally used guitar solo-style here, or implore the use of a cowbell on downbeats (!), and other things that keep you listening . . . then the songs get stuck your head. Wehrmacht was an exceptional thrash metal band, really maybe close to being the best their was ... Les Evans of Cryptic Slaughter described Wehrmacht once as "the only band that I ever saw blow Slayer offstage." That really says something, whether you like Slayer or not. My personal favorite song is the album's namesake, the opener, beginning with `Jaws' theme music then breaking into the rapid Lehfeldt and the guitars coming playing just as rapid right along with him. Another thing I liked about Wehrmacht was the unusual vocals of Tito, he doesn't really scream ... or sing ... he more or less talks really fast without rapping, like his voice is an instrument he needs to use to keep up with the rest of the band's tempo. And his voice is rather comical sounding, yet at the same time ... intense ... you'd have to hear the guy. I highly recommend Wehrmacht to not only thrash ... but music in general, there is something truly special here. If they don't catch upon first listen, allow them to work on you, as they did me, eventually they just might carve their own niche into your tastes. Wehrmacht put out one other album, Biermacht, which is every bit as good, it just doesn't have the length Shark Attack does though, which is the only thing that might make it better than Biermacht.
Fast as a Shark but Really Not that Lethal
Oliverio Casas | Montevideo, Uruguay | 06/07/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Back in 1987, with the thrash metal juggernaut rolling on full force and death metal still a good three or four years away, speed was still the ultimate measuring stick for a metal band's extremity and subsequent credibility among serious headbangers. In this context, Wehrmacht's main claim to fame was being considered the fastest heavy metal band in the underground, and I don't see any point in disputing that: the songs are indeed extremely fast, easily equaling and sometimes surpassing the tempos of its era's speediest bands like Anthrax, Slayer, Kreator and Dark Angel. Due to it's gory, cartoony lyrics and sense of humour, the band was routinely lumped with crossover bands like D.R.I., S.O.D., Nuclear Assault and Cryptic Slaughter, a label I'm not that comfortable with since its riffing and soloing is much more thrash than hardcore based.
The music in itself is essentially very fast thrash metal augmented by Brian Lehfeldt's frantic drumming, and that's the main problem: good thrash always came from the effective coupling of both speed and grove, and since the latter is almost inexistent the songs start to sound samey really fast. The low budget production makes the music sound excessively blurry, so the good riffs and leads (and believe me, this record has its good share of both) are hard to appreciate, since the guitars tend to get buried by overbearing, blasting drums and the bass is almost inaudible.
In conclusion, this is pretty solid and enjoyable (albeit somewhat limited) 80s thrash metal album that is ultimately ruined by poor production, so I'd recomend it only to said style's serious fans."