This French bands first two albums have been on my playlist regularly over the last few years as we now get a third album that sees the band strengthen their song writing into eight songs of blistering power and consummate sonic devastation. Coupled to that is the album artwork which is awesome and similar to the bands previous excellent efforts. The eerie intro piece to “Sprawl Of Sin” that starts the release has some distant croaking vocals before the track is obliterated by a frenzied riff. Classified as death metal generally the band has a black metal approach as well via the vocals and production style which is better than the second which I felt was lacking depth. The blasted place is remorseless as the drummer does his level best to pound your tympanic membranes to the point of rupturing. You can never rest on your laurels with French metal bands as this lot rather than bludgeon you constantly throw in a myriad of hooks such as the calmer riffing approach in the middle of the opener.
The stripped back riff to “Tredeciman Blackfire” has a Dissection flavour before a new riff break intercedes with a cymbal smash signalling the rapid-fire drumming. Vocally this is black metal mostly, with a slight echo and delay creating a delivery that sounds like the vocals were sang in an old stone church or castle. The title track is vicious as the tune is more death metal based due to the double kick and superb skull drilling riffing. Contrasting with the title track is “Evil Names” which is slower, and as I mentioned previously French metal acts keep you occupied as the doom like ethos that starts the tune is gloomy, funereal and ominously penetrating. You can feel the tension in the song, swelling in layers of perniciousness ready for it to detonate the speed via a riff break which is utterly murderous.
The riffs on this album are some of the most potent and ferocious I’ve heard as “Hellspawn Pyre” so ably proves, with its riffs impaling like ice shards and links nicely to “Bestial Rites”. Again, the opening riff grabs your attention, enabling the song to then unfurl via a drumming bombardment before the inevitable blast which you know is going to arrive. There are no poor or under par tracks on this release, every single one is worth a mention as the release closes with “Verses From The Depth and the expected calmer approach is non-existent as the tune explodes with a blast and outright lethal assault only for it to be tempered via a gloomy dread filled section where the vocals take precedence creating a maniacal end to the album.
Violent, primitive, visceral and utterly barbaric, “Satanic Slavery” chains the listener with no prospect of escape.
(9.5/10 Martin Harris)