1981 was before the birth of Thrash, yet this album is a masterclass of the genre. However, the years 1981-1989 also delivered over 200 slasher movies. Now, Swedish thrash metal band F.K.Ü. have decided to pay tribute to the anchor year – 1981, also known as the ultimate year of the slasher movie genre; the year that delivered the greatest numbers of classic slasher films in history!
The goal with the new album was to take the listener back to those days. Back when you and your friends went to the local video store to rent video cassettes and downloading movies from the internet was still long unheard of. As frontman Larry Lethal tells it, “We give you blasts of D-beat thrash and horror madness bonanza! Celebrating the peak year of the slasher movie genre, namely 1981. A horror metal to the pedal, no holds barred joyride into the nearest mosh pit, or video rental store, if you still can find one…”
Recently signed with Despotz Records, the band wasted little time in entering The Overlook Studios in Gavie Sweden, to begin work on 1981. The album was produced by F.K.Ü. and has a classic feel in so many ways that it took me back to the era when Kill ‘Em All shook the world (yes, I am that old that I remember it first time round).
The band focus on their favourite subject – horror. Tracks like ”Nightmares in a Damaged Brain” tell the story of murder spree by an escaped inmate. Other titles include “The Funhouse,” about four teenagers spending the night in a funhouse being stalked by a deformed man in a Frankenstein mask.
Four men formed F.K.Ü. back in 1987 to pay tribute to their two main interests; horror movies from the 1980´s and Thrash Metal. However, after just a handful of rehearsals, it was decided to call it a day.
Ten years later, in 1997, a decision was made to give it another try and bring the band back to life. The positive response of 1998’s 20-song demo Beware of the Evil Underwear resulted in the album Metal Moshing Mad.
F.K.Ü. – 1981
So, here we are in 2018 and does this album stand the test of time? In many ways, I will always be biased, as I loved Thrash when I was a teenager and I used to live for Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer and Exodus (never a big Megadeth fan). I therefore thoroughly emjoyed the chugging riffs, barking vocals and blasting beats on this release.
The album flows through numerous horror movies, with songs such as “Friday The 13th Part 2” and “Halloween II“. The one stand out element for me was the Rob Halford-like screams on songs like the aforementioned “The Funhouse“, which does add a more original brand to the Thrash than you would imagine.
Overall, an enjoyable exercise in nostaligia and a ripping (corpse) of an album for those who love Thrash.