I am not sure what rock I’ve been living under for the past five years or so but this Swedish outfit has released five albums already and this is now their sixth. In the bands ranks is Kevin Talley (drums) (ex ) currently in Suffocation and Ola Englund (The Haunted) offering substantial credentials to this band from the outset. Presented as a wonderful double CD digipack the artwork adorning the release is eye-catching and so is the music which is predominantly thrash but also harnesses the power of death metal on occasions due to the drumming style which is unsurprising given who is pounding behind the kit.
After the short title track introduction the album roars into life with “Your Demise” a punishing tune with lacerating riffs and stabbing percussion. The music does have a touch of The Haunted about it and also very early Carnal Forge but this is no clone cash in, far from it, as the music is far more venomous and hostile. The dynamics of the songs mean that each tune takes massive side swipes into slower sections with the groove metal stance but is far more pronounced aggressively. Modernised structures are also present as on “Of Iron And Ashes” where the tune drops into a softer section momentarily. “Caligula” has a cracking riff to start it off, the tempo shifts add a sense of urgency and murderous charisma where the vocals take on a death metal style as opposed to the screamed bellows that permeate the album as a whole.
A piano laced interlude precedes “By Silence Screaming” which surges into a life with a catchy riff and that groove metal approach I mentioned earlier and is in huge contrast with “Wolf At The End Of The World” which is far more sadistic but still harnesses plenty of melody to get those teeth into. The death metal aspects are raised here with double kick infusing the tune with thundering power and heaviness. The riff to “My Own Redemption” maybe seem straightforward but it’s as heavy as a rock fall but also has clean vocals. Those two words often strike fear into the hearts of thrash fans these days but in reality all thrash bands worth their salt back in the day had excellent singers that could actually sing. Also added to the tune are some effects for a more buoyant experimental feel. That buoyancy is sunk by the opening riff to “Dying Day” a ferocious right then left punch on the ears that works perfectly. The velocity is underpinned by blast snare work and riff breaks that engorge the song with a palate of violence. Slightly off track is “The Narcissist” with a laid back melody punctuated by a rhythm injection that seems to slice open the listener in readiness for the pace to be shot skywards. The double kick is awesome adding devastating strength yet balanced with some very mellow guitar pieces that pop up with no notice.
This is scorching release of modern thrash metal that will have thrashers salivating that they picked it up and added to that the release is being streamed in full at various outlets but the actual product is much better as the digipack contains another disc with an instrumental version of the album which is equally killer and adds a different dimension to the bands phenomenal writing skills. Essential for any thrasher.
(9/10 Martin Harris)