Album Review: Finality – “Technocracy” (Thrash/Power Metal)

Written by Kirk

> Thrash/power metal
> Michigan, US
> Released May 5
> Independent/self-release

Quick, Marty! Get in the DeLorean! Fire up the Flux Capacitor and get this baby to 88 MPH! We have to get back to 1987 so we can revel in the hedonistic peak of thrash metal!

Or something along those lines. Thrash metal may have peaked in the late ‘80s, but it sure as hell is seeing a fierce resurgence over the last few years. The untimely and fucking gutwrenching passing of Riley Gale (rest in power, brother) has caused the scene to question with whom the crown now rests, but bands like Creeping DeathTransgressive, and Necropanther are more than capable of bearing such a burden. And this doesn’t take anything away from legacy acts like OverkillAnthrax, and Metallica who’ve been running these streets since day one. Thrash metal never died, but it is certainly benefitting from a glut of fresh blood.

Enter Finality, a new thrash group from the great state of Michigan. Not to be confused with the other thrash group of the same name from Ohio (they broke up in 2001), the new bearers of the name feature Tony Asta and Hiran Deraniyagala of Battlecross on vocals and guitar, Joe Cady of Among These Ashes on guitar, plus guitarist John Artuso, bassist Mike Heugel, and drummer Dan Fayz. To listen to this record, you’d have no idea that JohnMike, and Dan haven’t been in a thrash band for years; for newcomers to the scene, they play like they opened for Slayer in the summer of 1992.

The album wastes no time whatsoever with “Academia”, the opening track. There are no slow builds or mood-setting intros here, just guitars (there are three, after all), bass, and drums. As first tracks go, this one is pretty no-nonsense. The next track, “Finality”, starts much the same way, with a crescendoing drum fill building into a swirling storm of guitar riffs. HiranJoe, and John have outstanding chemistry, unleashing an onslaught of chugging riffs and searing solos. The power metal influences start creeping in on “Malevolence,” Tony layers his thrash vocals with a clean backing chorus to bring the song to new heights. I never thought thrash and power metal could work so well together, so clearly I’m learning new things here.

We shift back into thrash mode for “Delirium”, another punishing track full of riffs and blasts. Seriously, Dan Fayz kills it throughout this entire album; his blasts are damn near death metal precision. And the solos that highlight this song are absolutely terrific. Someone on Twitter once said that two guitarists is one too many, and whoever said that is dead wrong. Personally, I don’t think there’s such a thing as too many guitarists (the Canadian band Hawkeyes had four), but what do I know.

The title track is a meditation on the fate of humanity and pretty much sums of the gist of the record as a whole.

“Deep into the abyss we call home / Caressed by darkness alone / No past, no future, no hope on our own / Behold our wasteland to roam”

We live in a world of instant gratification, where “wants” outweigh “needs” as many of us chase a sense of satisfaction that is ephemeral at best. Never thought I’d say it, but Madonna was right: “I’m living in a material world, and I am a material girl.” But do Finality have the answer to our collective struggle? Or are they just as doomed to rot in this digital hellscape with the rest of us?

The rest of the album follows much of this same model, blasts of thrash accentuated by the occasional dash of power metal to spice things up. A few standout tracks are “Pain” for its balls-to-the-wall energy, “Predecessor” for that delightful mixture of thrash and power metal (seriously, I’m digging this combo), “Revelation” for its dynamic tempo shifts and just generally rough, dirty approach, and “Oblivion” for being one of the best album closers I’ve heard in a while. This album is pretty much end-to-end bangers; you don’t want to miss out on any of it.


It’s interesting the way the different sub-genres of heavy metal ebb and flow in their popularity and influence. Thrash metal peaked in the late ‘80s—between 1986 and 1987 according to Wikipedia (if you care about stuff like that)—but mainstream attention should never be confused with viability. Some of the longest-running bands in heavy metal cut their teeth in the thrash scene and are still going strong roughly 40 years later. Metallica is a household name, the most recognizable of “The Big Four” who essentially carried thrash on their shoulders. And while some of the biggest thrash bands originated in the United States, thrash metal is alive and thriving the world over.

Finality is a new addition to a long-standing heritage of thrash shredders, and they are poised to seize the seemingly vacant throne. Seasoned veterans and newcomers alike, there’s a chemistry here that must be heard to be believed. And as far as debut albums go, this one is going to be hard to top. My only question is this: How long do we have to wait for the follow-up?