Since 2009, the guys in Sadistic Ritual have been slaying houses, basements and all sorts of venues across the city, earning the status as the premier thrashers in a sometimes lacking metal scene. Edge of the Knife, their brand-new EP released earlier this month, shows a clear progression from 2013’s Hellish Mercenary 7″, exhibiting a noticeably better production and tighter songwriting all around. While still a product of their influences (Razor, Kreator, Show No Mercy-era Slayer), they’ve eschewed the sinister, almost demonic assault of their earlier material for a more calculated aggression reminiscent of more modern bands such as Violator and Toxic Holocaust. Aside from the occasional blastbeat, this is fairly direct and unambiguous as far as thrash goes. That’s not to downplay the talent on display here: just listen to the solos in “Funeral Raid” and “Restless Dead”! The riffs are almost infectious in their simplicity and the rasped vocals have a juvenile charm (which, admittedly, is hit-or-miss, but what thrash vocalist isn’t?). If you like your thrash throwback and unpretentious, you’d do yourself a service by getting familiar with Sadistic Ritual, if you aren’t already.