CEDAR VALLEY AMPLIFIED: FRONTAL ASSAULTS BRINGS SOMETHING NEW TO THE AREA

LIAM EASLEY, ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

The Cedar Valley metal scene welcomed Frontal Assault, a band that combines thrash metal with death metal, in 2016. The band is young and so are its three members, ranging from ages 15 to 20. While there are death metal bands in the area, there is not currently one that plays thrash metal as well, and this is what makes Frontal Assault stand out.

With a name extracted from the lyrics of Exodus’ famous “Toxic Waltz,” the band is certainly one that has immersed itself fully into the thrash metal sound. The band takes a lot of influence from Exodus as well as other classic thrash metal bands like Metallica, Slayer and newer bands like Havok. As for the death metal side of their music, the band’s guitarist and vocalist, Anthony Thomas, claims to take a lot of influence from Skeletal Remains.

“We started having more death metal inspirations for some of our songs, but we still try to keep it pretty thrash,” said William Hall, the bassist and vocalist of Frontal Assault.

Each band member seems dedicated to introducing thrash metal to the local scene.

In 2019, the band debuted with “Debellatio,” a six-track EP. The EP flexed a heavy Exodus influence as well as a sound similar to bands like Ripper, or at times, Demolition Hammer. Unlike a majority of death/thrash metal bands, Frontal Assault did not have many similarities with Teutonic thrashers like Kreator or Destruction. The EP was released digitally on Bandcamp.

“Deballatio,” or debellatio, is a Latin term for the end of war caused by total annihilation of the enemy.

Since 2016, Frontal Assault has made a name for themselves in the Cedar Valley through live performances. According to the band, their audiences typically enjoy “The Bell of Death,” the last track on their 2019 EP as well as “Kill Your Local Congressman,” a track that is currently only played live. Their live performances typically include songs that have yet to be released.

However, Frontal Assault has not booked very many performances in the near future due to being busy recording a new five-track EP. The band is still in the recording process. According to Hall, they have the drums recorded and are currently working on tracking the guitars. Unlike “Debellatio,” this EP will be released physically, and the physical release will include two bonus tracks.

“We’ve played every song off the [new] EP live. We like to see if people like it before we actually record and produce it,” said Hall.

After testing each song on audiences, the band feels prepared to release the new EP soon. For now, “Debellatio” can be streamed on Bandcamp and Spotify.

Frontal Assault will be playing with Pit Lord and Traffic Death at Gabe’s in Iowa City on Mar. 13.

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