Two major extreme music movements that happened around the the same time in the UK—NWOBHM and UK82 street punk—are responsible for at least two-thirds of thrash metal’s DNA. You can throw in some California hardcore, as well, and that’s pretty much the sum of it. Belgian death thrashers, Schizophrenia, whose members weren’t even born in the same decade of those early musical movements, nonetheless are students of the old school and are paying tribute to a half dozen bands—including GBH—on their upcoming self-released EP, Chants of the Abyss.
In fact, the video we present to you offers the quartet—Ricky Mandozzi (bass/vocals), Romeo Promos Promopoulos (lead/rhythm guitar), Marty Van Kerckhoven (lead/rhythm guitar), Lorenzo Vissol (drums)—blasting through the GBH classic, “Race Against Time” in what looks to be a studio of some description. Not much more to it than that, as the song checks in at just under two and a half minutes, so it’s pretty much get in and get out. Schizophrenia do offer their own death-tainted arrangement and vocal stylings to freshen up the ancient nugget, though.
Chants of the Abyss will be made available for digital download February 10, and features additional covers by Slayer, Morbid Angel, Judas Priest, Misfits and Exodus. The EP was produced by Yarne Heylen and Schizophrenia, and all instruments were recorded by Yarne Heylen at Project Zero Recording Studio, Nijlen, Belgium, 2022. Vocals were recorded by Johannes Van Audenhove in Mol, Belgium, 2022. It was mixed and mastered at Project Zero by Yarne Heylen. You can preorder the EP here.
Here’s what drummer Lorenzo Vissol had to say about the track:
“GBH is possibly the most influential hardcore punk band, and has been my personal favorite band since my teenage years. Covering a song by them seemed not only crucial but almost mandatory. We chose to cover ‘Race Against Time’ as this song had the perfect energy we were looking for and the lyrics could be reinterpreted as a testimony to their legacy: ‘Time is immortal, and we’re forever.’ It is also the opening track of their first record released in 1981, Leather, Bristles, Studs and Acne, quite surely being a direct influence to the following thrash metal originator albums. The song was extremely interesting for us to work on and adapt to our own style. I took some liberties when composing my drum part and was highly influenced by Exciter, another band with explicit punk influences. We tried making the song overall more brutal and simply better fitted for a death/thrash metal band. We can only hope you will enjoy our own version but also feel the need to spin all those classic influential punk records again!”