Blood Label's Kenneth Klitte Jensen: "Thrash revival bands? Cheap knock offs!"

The Danish vocalist takes us for a spin round his version of the thrash metal world...

Greetings, Kenneth, and welcome to Metal as Fuck! Thanks for taking part in our thirty years of thrash celebration! No messing about today - we're going straight into the questions - what's your take on the Big 4 and it's establishment back in the eighties? "I myself was only born in 1988, so therefore I can’t really comment on how things were back in the 80’s, but from my point of view, I think this title is well deserved for these four bands. They have each formed their own niche within thrash metal, and inspired hundreds of young bands to go in their musical direction- my own band included. In my own humble opinion though Pantera and their crossover approach to thrash seems missing in this equation, but it might be due to the fact that their commercial success arrived a tad later than the others".

You're not the first person to mention Pantera, who to my mind aren't thrash at all! That's the beauty of metal I guess - it's a very broad church. What about the sound of thrash - where would you say the home of the sound is, geographically? "I would say that for the most part, the essential sound of thrash metal stems from California, and bands such as Metallica, Slayer, Testament, Exodus, et cetera. Sepultura , I would argue, also have a strong stand in thrash metal history, so at least some of the characteristics of thrash also originate from Brazil".

What about albums? Can you give the five albums you'd say were essential thrash works? "A couple of these albums, have really helped shape my own taste in thrash. Some might say that not all of these are “real” thrash metal, but I strongly believe that all of them have earned their own credence within the thrash scene:

1. Slayer – Reign in Blood

2. Sepultura – Chaos A.D.

3. Pantera – The Great Southern Trendkill

4. HatesphereThe Sickness Within

5. The HauntedRevolveR

Wow! only one of the big four in your list! That's a very interesting departure - unique even! What about live shows? Who sticks out for you from the gene as being particularly exciting live? " I have a soft spot for old Hatesphere live shows. I‘ve seen tons of live performances by the band, back when the line-up included their extremely charismatic, former front man Jacob Bredahl, and let me tell ya- they ruled on stage. They had such incredible live presence and interaction with the crowd, played great sets and were overall just a fantastic live experience!"

Thanks for the tip - I'll head over to you tube later to see if I can dig some stuff up to share with our readers. That's the good - what about the bad? You can throw in some ugly too if you like. "Some of the worst thrash metal live shows I’ve ever seen, come from many of the millions of “thrash revival” bands out there. Cheap knock offs, who just copy the exact sound, style and look from all the great bands of the 80’s without bringing anything new to the table. I won’t begin to mention any names, but this sort of band constitutes the worst thrash metal live experience I’ve ever had".

Well said - our regular readers will know that this has become something of a bug bear here at MaF, but we won't labour the point now. Moving on, what, as a musician yourself, would you say are the key ingredients to a great thrash song? "Strong riffing, tight, fast drumming and aggressive and hook-ridden vocals. Or just whatever it is, that Slayer does . A sure recipe for success, if you ask me!"

Haha you'd be right there! Now we're going to ask you to put together a dream thrash lineup - off you go! "Tough call. It must be Dave Lombardo on drums, Dimebag Darrell and Max Cavalera on guitars, Jason Newsted on bass and Chuck Billy on vocals".

And finally, what would you say has been thrash metal's greatest gift to heavy metal in general? "Thrash metal made it cool to once again look trashy and play aggressive tunes. This tendency has echoed through out metal history, and still defines the style of many young bands such as my own. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the greatest gift, thrash metal could ever give to metal music. Thank you, thrash metal!"

And thank you, Kenneth!