By Steven Leslie. The warlords behind Proclamation have returned. While I’ve seen this, their first full length, referred to as war metal in some places, likely because of the band photos and member history, that actually does Sacrificio a huge disservice.By Steven Leslie.
The warlords behind Proclamation have returned. While I’ve seen this, their first full length, referred to as war metal in some places, likely because of the band photos and member history, that actually does Sacrificio a huge disservice. The real roots of their sound are based around speed metal and mid 80s proto death and black metal. What makes this album so enjoyable is the way Sacrificio melds that throwback style with the oppressive blackened atmosphere they produced so effectively in their previous band. Most importantly, they manage to craft infectious songs that really stick in your head and keep you coming back for more. This is far from the straightforward, uncompromising blastfest that many would expect based on the member’s history, and it is all the more enjoyable for it. The have also cleaned up the production just enough to highlight their riff work while still keeping a crude and downright evil atmosphere. Throw in some squealing solos and malicious growls and you’ve got thirty-four minutes of blasphemous fun. If you wish that early Venom were as evil as the pretended, took their tongue out of their cheeks and learned to play their instruments just a little better, Sacrificio’s debut full length is for you.
Death Worship is one of those bands who come with a built in cult following. Spawned from a veritable who’s who of the war metal scene, including Ryan Förster (Blasphemy, Conqueror), Nocturnal Grave Desecrator and Black Winds (Blasphemy) and J. Read (Revenge, Axis of Advance, Conqueror), the real question was always going to be how they stack up against their prior bands. Right from the opening seconds of “Abomination Storm” it is obvious you won’t be let down. This offers all the blasting blasphemy you could hope for from such a lineup. Built around J. Read’s bone crushing battery and Ryan Förster’s corrosive riffs, Death Worship drag you kicking and screaming headlong into their hellish vision. While war metal of this kind can easily become monotonous, Death Worship manage to avoid this pitfall by adding a few carefully placed breaks in the otherwise relentlessly feral onslaught. While songs like “Holocaust Altar” offer three straight minutes of machine gun drums, acerbic riffing and savage howls, other tracks like “Desolation Summoning” and “Evocation Chamber” include sections where the drumming slows and the guitars lock into a pestilential groove that will get any metal fan’s head banging. These brief moments of clarity amidst the swarming, auditory onslaught ensure that the blitzing sections never lose their bestial power and continue to hit like a boot heel to the teeth. If you have even a passing fondness for war metal or blackened death metal, do yourself a favor and don’t sleep on this one.
Bestial Raids return after five years to show just why they belong at the top of the war metal pack. They take everything that is great about the genre, the primal power, raw aggression and oppressive atmosphere, and meld it to top notch songwriting that drives their songs deep into the back of your cranium. Unlike many war metal artists, Bestial Raids allow their songs to breath, which makes each and every track infectious, unique and unforgettable. On Master Satan’s Witchery, they manage to harness chaos and channel it into seven deadly odes the devil would be proud to call his own. Aided by a killer drum sound and savage guitar tone, songs like “Descending the Thantifaxath” and “Darkness Visible” veer between speedy, flesh-searing assaults and slower sections that are catchier than syphilis among heroin addicts. There is not a second of this release that is monotonous or superfluous, as the bands primordial power and deft songwriting has produced thirty-three minutes of profound and uncompromising darkness that offers endless replay value. This is the soundtrack to World War III and the total annihilation of all mankind. While they have never released a bad album, Master Satan’s Witchery may well be their best one yet.