Another band who have been around for absolutely ages are German black thrashers Desaster. It seems like ages ago that I bought their debut album 1996 release ‘A Touch Of Medieval Darkness’ and indeed it was. The fertile stamping ground that we hunted around Soho at the time looking for cheap releases and promos of unheard of metal acts has been pretty much decimated and only a couple of the shops remain. Not that any such things have deterred this band who have forged ahead from that somewhat classic album and spat out another six of them along with a veritable horde of splits, EP’s compilations and live albums. As for the live front I had the pleasure of seeing the group on home turf at Party San Open Air a couple of years ago and they were one of the highlights of the festival. My only annoyance since then is the fact the group came as far as Ireland to play recently and did not grace us with their presence in England, something that they may hopefully rectify.

If you are into Germanic black thrash this album should not disappoint and it is a good meaty follow up to 2007 cleverly entitled ‘Satan’s Soldiers Syndicate’ An Intro brings to mind something gladiatorial as the warriors prepare to step into the arena. The clank of chains, sounds of steel and roar of the crowd build, then wham, destruction arrives with the title track blazing away hell for leather. It’s fast, furious and feudal and the manic cackle from singer Sataniac only adds to the infectious zeal. Once he starts rasping away properly one cannot help thinking of bands likes of Obituary and Asphyx as he has one of those really feral wolverine vocal clamours and it is one that really hits the mark. The music is not the most complicated, drums batter away and the tight guitar riffs buzz at you angrily before the song drops a pace and slows it down a touch. One thing it does demand is that you head bang along with it. This is an album to crack your skull to and be prepared to have a sore neck after listening to it.

At times things slowly construct themselves, as in the epic doom laden crawl into ‘The Splendour Of The Idols,’ once established they uncoil and spring into action, hungering for blood as they snarl at your throat and rip into it. The central riff at start of ‘Phantom Funeral’ stands out and goes well with the song’s horror clad subject matter sounding like it is something that has spilled out of a John Carpenter movie. As for saying ‘Queens Of Sodomy’ gives you a brutal fisting, well that would of course be quite wrong but the punishing Motörhead via Nefelheim melody certainly does something!

This is a really solid album and one that speeds by giving you a sound thrashing and embedding strong melodies in your head as it whiplashes by. Proving they can do epic as well though the 8 and a half minute ‘Possessed and Defiled’ particularly impresses with a melody one would expect of a Primordial song flowing away through it with a fist pumping fervour.

More like this and Hail Of Bullets please Metal Blade!

(7/10 Pete Woods)