If any genre of metal could lay claim to being the purest, most distilled version of metal – more metal than metal – then the one espoused by Emperor-look-a-like band The Furor must be it. Drenched in battling solos, down-tuned black metal-style riffs and no-nonsense Southern Hemisphere directness, The Furor is a vintage example of blackened thrash and one that does the collective ambitions of the genre no harm whatsoever. Add studs, well polished black leather and a look that combines corpse paint with Kiss and we’re literally ready to rock ‘n’ roll (with apologies to the recently departed Chuck Berry: I’m guessing it was never meant to be like this).

Yes, this is the gloriously wild-eyed, direct descendent of the thrash metal spirit but one that would leave most thrash bands to the Anthrax side of Slayer (ie pretty much every thrash band in the 1980s that wasn’t Slayer) whimpering for their mummies. Lead guitars soar skyways in perfect contrast to the sandblasted vocals – always the key raw ingredient in any Aussie blackened death metal band; while the frenetic, arthritis-inducing pace never ever lets up – well why would you when fretboard-knackering speed is next to manliness and blood-vomiting ungodliness?

The Furor is essentially Abbath-a-like Disaster (from the arse-end-of-nowheresville if-you-think-can-imagine-anywhere-more-remote-you-ain’t-seen-nothing-yet Perth, Western Australia, and who’s also in Bloodlust, Depravity and Impiety) and some of his chums. Disaster and full-time band mate Warlock (as well as a host of others – I can imagine Perth is a scene so tight it makes a gnats bum seem roomy) do a pretty fine job of adding that oft times overlooked ingredient: injecting a bit of black metal complexity. Yes, it’s all too easy to get carried away by the whirlwind speed, so tracks like Death Manifest and Fomes Peccati, with its back-beat and more roomy arrangement, sit well besides scale dancing speed-a-thons like The 30 Year War and the rabid Uzi-blast of Lake of Fire.

Cavalries Of The Occult does an admirable job in its attempt to extend the boundaries of a genre that’s already gone as fast, heavy, solo-drenched and ass-tearingly intense as it’s possible to get. But it does all beg the question, that with genre leaders Destroyer666 now lashing the four horses of doom as hard as they can to expand the genre’s sound by increments, where can we possibly go next with all this? Perhaps the issue is that the attempts by The Furor to broaden the sound produce a slightly stuttering landscape which doesn’t always lay my brain cells to waste. But this is still a decent release that builds nicely on the band’s now building back catalogue even if it’s not the trebuchet of death that will catapult this beyond the realms of the faithful blackened death / thrash metal community that will happily feast on this with collective satisfaction.

(7/10 Reverend Darkstanley)