The debut album by this Wellingborough based mob ‘A War Of Souls And Desires’ was a vicious S.O.B. make no mistake. Similarly when they tore things up at Bloodstock Festival in the Sophie Tent getting a pit full of ugly in the process, there was little in the way of mercy. Having brought the war it seemed unlikely that they would come holding an olive branch with their second album but here they are offering peace? Nope don’t worry as is the case in real life there won’t be any of that in our time and there’s going to be very little of it on this disc either.

The band who spawned out the bowels of Gutworm are still angry and have plenty of rage to dispense and opening track takes us on a journey to the beyond, casting its eyes on ‘The Minor Mystery Of Death.’ It’s a brooding start with plenty of melody within its fleshy folds and even some metallic harmonies from the guitars before it builds and pile-drives in with a humungous bellow and pulverising drums. Guitars grate and grind and the bottom edge bounces about and no doubt will incite a mass pogo when they play it live. At full pace it’s got a deathly hardcore edge but as they loosen there’s an instrumental technicality and a near djenty groove about things. Don’t go thinking of this as modern metal though, none of that here and the band are not going to suddenly dispense with anything in the way of emotive vocals, singer Adi Mayes is all about the rage. I am enticed into looking into the meaning of next track ‘Yawm al Qiyamah’ and discover it’s Islamic for the day of resurrection, which kind of fits in with things here. It judders and shreds all over the shop as the singer rants away in an angry and indignant fashion, there’s a bit of a touch of the Barney in his quick-fire delivery; that’s of the Napalm Death variety for the uninitiated and the music hits that sort of pace too before some sinister mechanical sounds come in with a bit of a Fear Factory (at their best) touch to them.

The album has 8 tracks on it and they are all given time to breathe and have plenty going on in them. They may well be a bit long for those trying to survive in the pit but that’s all part of the game. Having said that though ‘Depths’ starts off calmly and gentle and could be mistaken as an intro to a shoegazing post rock song at first but it’s not long before it tears off in a circle of destruction and adds one of the most compulsive cleaving rhythms of the album to its armoury. It’s like a ring a ring of roses and everyone’s no doubt going to fall down, whether afflicted by the plague or not. A harmonic guitar break in it adds potent atmosphere and soars skywards too before the sledgehammer bombast bounces back in.

I get the feel that the band have worked hard on the destructive sonic template here, it feels like everything gels together cohesively and has along with a determined grit and violence been honed into a really coordinated attack. At one second they are busy ripping your face off and the next adding a no less vicious but simmering rather than seething groove. ‘Age Of War’ has some Gojira like scything cleaving guitar parts on it that jaggedly stick out and there’s no reason that their and Meshuggah fans may well have a new favourite band on their hands if they give this beast a listen. Closer ‘Eternal Oceans’ shows what they are capable of when they take the foot off the peddle too and the slow crush of it really hits the mark setting things up to complete the circle and spin the disc again. I had quite a long lead up to really get into this before the release date and continued plays have proven the album to have plenty of staying time. I reckon it’s going to get a fair few more spins too. Peace out!

(8/10 Pete Woods)