Formed in Moscow in 2013, Pokerface are an old school thrash metal band, who’ve gone through phases of various line-ups, whilst producing original material, both live and recorded. Their influences are old school thrash bands, such as Slayer, Testament, Sodom and Kreator. Their first EP, ‘Terror Is The Law’, was released in 2014, with the female vocalist Delirium Tremens. In spring 2015, they played tour support for Sepultura and in summer, they toured with Overkill, Claustrofobia, Children Of Bodom and Vader. Then, their Internet single, ‘Kingdom Of Hate’ was released, prior to the debut album ‘Divide And Rule’, which came out in autumn. Since then, they’ve played with Megadeth, Kreator and Infected Rain.
All Is A Lie – Gradual eerie keyboard intro, giving way to an explosive instrumental and truly impassioned growls and screams of pure unadulterated rage. The riff scales and banging thunderous drums accompanying them equal the depth of rage, leaving no room for doubt as to the extreme emotions behind the music. Subtlety, be damned. Hellish fury just about covers it.
Kingdom Of Hate – Opening with a very welcome Slayeresque riff; joined by more measured, but no less passionate drum rolls and alternating speaker echoes…. speaking of echoes, here lies an unmistakable Prodigy influence. Rapidly followed by a riff section that could have come straight from Slayer’s ‘Seasons In The Abyss’. Heightening the riff tones to orgasmic territory; this just does it for me.
The Chessboard Killer – Haunting riff intro, which wouldn’t be out of place in a vampire film. Quickly chased by more raging instrumentals and vocals to conjure the dead. Just a pure continuum of rage is probably the best way to sum this one up. Aha and just as you think it’s becoming predictable, they add in some techno beats and then metal it right back up again, hammering your brains to bits till the end. Loving those Slayeresque riffs the most).
Existence – Bang! Crash! It’s one of those intros that just fires straight into life, with a crescendo of metal. One thing’s for certain – they’ve nailed those ‘Reign In Blood’ type riffs like kings. Or maybe that should actually be raining blood type riffs, as frankly, the whole track just feels like being rained on by blood-soaked metal.
Into The Inferno – Drum intro to beat your senses black and blue. The riffs get faster and faster till you think you’re being chased by them. The whole feel of this track is one of a game of metallic tag, with wolf like howls and growls thrown in. Battering the drums in the closing section to splinters, it’s said its’ piece loud and clear.
Human Control – Liking the mix of melodic tones, lightning fast riffs and solid, heavy as fuck drums, beating the life out of the song. Some magnificent riffs just after the mid-section and I actually think this singer is a wolf, not a human at all. Fuck me, where did that song go?! A short, but succinct full on and very pleasurable metal attack.
Age Of Terrorism – Slightly more Testament like in feel; with a highly catchy drum fill and a really fun power scream, followed by what have to be totally throat wrecking roars of rage. Those brilliantly toned and perfected sexy as fuck riffs from metal paradise just continue till the end and there’s just no other word, but mind blowing.
Killed By Me – Seguing straight into the exuberant riffage and drum hits we’re now familiar with; really going for it with those possessed screamo vocals. If ever you need a shock to wake you up in a hurry, when the alarm clock just doesn’t cut it, I recommend this. Devilish and acutely pleasing.
Shut Up – Hardness incarnate. Keeping on with that same crazed manic pace, uncompromising heaviness, with melody still alive within it. Deathly, yet vibrant and pulsing with life force at the same time. Like being brained by half a dozen saucepans simultaneously.
Divide And Rule – Heavy with energy and boundless adrenaline; retaining the melody, while proving their propensity for steel toe-capped attack. Metallized propulsion – it speaks for itself.
Overall – A ferocious and angry beast of an album, to knock down your door, break down your defences and invade your soul, like a demon possessed. You could easily be forgiven for mistaking them for Slayer. Satan obviously overcame them long ago.
For fans of Slayer, Testament, Exodus, Anthrax and generally, old school thrash metal.
Promo vid from European metal channel:
Album available digitally from:
Amazon Music: http://vk.cc/4cle2P