Review: Galaxy – Lost From The Start
Not many new bands properly evoke the spirit of the earliest days of thrash and speed metal. The energy, passion, and crazed sonic assault of a genre that didn’t quite exist yet seems to just be lost to time—even extremely competent worshippers feel like they’re putting their own spin on an old genre more often than not.
Galaxy is a rare exception to all of that, and sound like they continued directly from a groundwork that ended right around 1984. That’s not to say that they’re playing a direct tribute to a long-gone era, as they have plenty of their own modernisms, but the energy, genre-bending, and passion for what they’re doing bleeds through into every riff, drum hit, and vocal line in a way that I just don’t hear much these days. This isn’t tired Exodus rehashing, though many of their heavier thrashing rhythms could have come from the slowest and chunkiest bits of Bonded By Blood, nor is it a clone of the popular USPM and speed metal bands that I’ve also seen Lost From The Start compared to so much.
Something I like a lot about Lost From The Start is that the guys aren’t afraid to experiment a bit with different sounds or influences—genres don’t need to be a cage, and Galaxy understands that. The basis of this debut is extremely catchy and aggressive speed metal and thrash, but Galaxy regularly will spin out into a long heavy metal jam, throw in spacey leads or transitions, or let the vocals take the forefront for a spell. The interplay of the various influences really keeps the whole mix interesting and the songwriting is good enough to keep it memorable, even on the longer songs. Being catchy is underrated in this genre in this day and age, but Galaxy shamelessly and joyfully digs into eardrums with a passion that can’t be denied.
A good description of the band at this point would be “charming.” They’re not totally there yet to be really great, though they’re certainly already really cool as-is. The off-kilter and often off-pitch singing’s effectiveness varies wildly across the release, sometimes being really cool and sometimes falling really flat. The vocalist, Phillip King, is a frenzied tenor who has been getting comparisons to John Cyriis and King Diamond, but he’s not at the same skill level, and it shows in some of the more awkward shrieks or most nasally vocal lines where he’s straining past his ability. I’ll take a guy like Phillip over a heartless but technically perfect singer any day but there’s plenty of room for him to improve, and the rest of the band is in the same boat—weird transitions, less effective riffs, and the aforementioned issues with singing bring down the release a bit.
Overall, Lost From The Start is killer, and is a great addition to this year’s crop of releases. I’m very interested to see where Galaxy goes next because the potential here seems limitless.
All images courtesy of Galaxy.