Bolt Thrower – Forgotten Existence (1988 Peel Session)

“Past the point of no return”

Bolt Thrower scored a good deal of buzz and a record deal from their 1988 Peel Session. When you listen to the radio session’s opening track Forgotten Existence, you can hear why. This is thrashier than the lumbering tank-tread riffing the Brummies would become known for but it’s crusty and hefty stuff and, like a lot of the BBC recordings, sounds incredible. The riffs are very Slayer-inspired, which is a very good thing, and original vocalist Alan West has a punkier voice that reminds me of the early Kreator stuff that Ventor sang. This is also a very good thing. Throw in the band’s perennial “tragedy of war” theme and you’ve got one hugely promising banger. Forgotten Existence is a great start to one of extreme metal’s most memorable careers.

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