Review: GÖKBÖRI’s “Erlik”

The thrash revival movement is somewhat of a touchy subject for many a seasoned veteran of the genre. Whilst bands such as Bonded By Blood and Lich King have a few decent songs and are just about listenable they are certainly a far cry from the days when thrash was consistently gifting many amazing bands. The core difference between Bonded By Blood and many of the old thrash bands such as Anthrax, Megadeth, Kreator, Coroner and Annihilator is that each of those older thrash bands had at least one release to truly be proud of and brag about and that laid the template for what each of these rip-off revival bands have attempted to create. From the “modern” thrash scene however there is one band that can truly be mentioned up there among the best of the bands in the genre and that is Gökböri.

Gökböri - Erlik

Hailing from New York, Gökböri is a trio originally formed in 2007. The band are heavily inspired by Voivod, Creator, early Sepultura, and Exodus, but this is only limited to their progressive style of thrash metal as the band’s recent, second album entitled “Erlik” proved. Gökböri combine intricate song structures with a variety of riff tempos and some highly technical guitar work alongside murderous screaming vocals, with lyrics completely sung in Turkish. To date Gökböri released an album titled “Balbal” in 2013, and “Erlik” which was released in February 2017.

“Erlik” is an album that sounds completely fresh among a collection of revival groups that sound like carbon copies of their influences. In place of the reliance on fast tremolo picked guitar lines and barked vocals Gökböri brought something new to the table. The first track “Tamuya” instantly captures the listener’s ear and doesn’t let go until the full album has finished by which time you are flat on the floor wondering what just hit you. The guitar work on this release is about as varied as it gets, as is immediately evidenced by the thrilling title track. The song opens up with some slower chord based riffs before plunging headlong into a lightning fast verse riff that still remains marvelously creative. If your jaw is not already on the floor by now with absolute awe then the ridiculously well placed guitar fill after the chorus should do so.

From the dark to chaotic sound of the album, “Erlik” is a record that succeeds on every level and is an album that will never fail to amaze. I recommend this to anyone who wants a metal album that constantly evolves and remains exciting all the way through.

Follow Gökböri on Facebook.