With riffs, lyrics and production values all microscopically tailored to capture the feel of vintage thrash metal, it’s a surprise that Mantic Ritual‘s label didn’t airbrush some acne into the liner-note photos of Executioner to mimic the back cover of Metallica’s Kill ’Em All. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, band’s debut may as well have been recorded 25 years ago, at a time when thrash still leaned toward the raw rather than the progressive and had yet to surge in popularity. By presenting this vital sub-genre as a time-capsulized art form, Mantic Ritual sheds zero light on why thrash barely evolved past 1993. But, of course, fans who pine for the glory days of leather and jean jackets will throw their horns up anyway. Like Twinkies, at least you know exactly what you’re going to get.