Underground Spotlight: Aftermath

Written by Matt Drummond

Recently, I caught a lucky break while attending a Demolition Hammer show in Chicago. I wasn’t anticipating an opening band shaking the building, but that is precisely what transpired. Kyriakos ‘Charlie’ Tsiolis, Steve Sacco, Ray Schmidt and Eric Alvarez hit the stage and turned everyone’s heads.

These Chicago OG’s make up Aftermath and the old school thrash metal they’re dispensing is something to take notice of. Being a band I was unfamiliar with it was a real privilege to meet and talk to the guys after their set. While I was talking with them Charlie gave me a copy of their original demo,’Killing the Future.’

Aftermath does thrash metal the way it was intended to be done. The speed and aggression that gushes from these guys will make you want to start pouring gasoline everywhere. I loathe a lot of newer thrash metal bands because they’re not true thrash metal in my eyes. That’s not an issue with Aftermath since these guys helped write the thrash metal atlas when they started their journey way back in 1985.

As a brand new Aftermath fan I’m not going to touch on ‘Eyes of Tomorrow’, which is their most recent album, but I intend to in the future. For now I’m focusing on the inspiration for this introduction to Aftermath, which is the album Charlie gave me – 1987’s ‘Killing the Future’.

‘Killing the Future’ is like a wildfire, which has accelerant constantly being poured on it. Every aspect is done fast, and I mean extremely fast. Ray Schmidt sounds like a tail gunner on the drums and it literally sounds like artillery going off.

The track that caught my attention the most is track 2, ‘Going No Place.’ A sadistic, harmonious riff is conjoined with rapid thrash, and it’s done flawlessly.

The second track that stuck out to me was track 5, ‘War For Freedom.’ This track really shows what kind of guitarist Sacco is. Sacco crushes on this track – his blazing fast guitar work leads this song down a frenzy of madness while Charlie and Ray keep tempo and rhythm. This song without a doubt justifies everything I’ve been saying about old school thrash metal.

Aftermath is serving up plates of carnage and it’s all you can eat. Don’t worry if your ears start bleeding, it’s just a side effect to pure thrash metal, but it’ll be worth it.

Keep an eye out for more on Aftermath soon!

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