My expectation for an intro piece to this second album by this German black metal act was unfounded as a penetrating riff initiates the assault that possesses a distorted slant on the title track opener. The riff break is colossal and underpins what this album is entirely about with a primeval and punishing substance borne out by the savagery of the song writing. Like other extreme metal genres black metal has been diluted/augmented (delete as applicable) into a variety of sub styles but Evil Warriors’ sole intent is to re-establish the fundamentals of the genre with an unremitting foray into black metal terror that continues with “Excess” after a sinister escalation of bass and drums that revolve around a menacing riff. It is that menacing and ominous delivery that I really like about this album as the song has intensity without blasting utilising the drums excellently which have an awesome mix on the release.
“Pillow Of Cold Water” has a brilliant riff to open it before sending the track into controlled pandemonium. The song swerves into calmer territory by slowing down momentarily ready for the ghoulish vocals to filter in which have a slight echo and maybe a cliché but it reinforces the song with a dread like atmosphere. The track continually switches style but retains the black metal credentials wholly intact. It is that ability to use calmer poignancy that make this album such a great listen as “Reincarnation” perfectly proves with its disturbing opening sequence that has a distorted terror filled aura building towards the main riff which is equally disconcerting. As the blast wave enters the song’s escalation in intensity is palpable, blisteringly fast and possessing yet another assailing riff break.
Every song is different, uniquely identifiable by the riffing which imprints on the brain as “Idleness And Doom” is an epic seven minutes of black metal majesty. The song’s start is treble infested with a slight echo that morphs toward the riff as a calmness returns for a bass foray before scurrying into a half blast punctured by the ominous riffing that saturate the song as a rumbling double bass filters through. The lead break that floats on the songs malevolence is intimidating as the track revolves around intense apices and horror filled nadirs. “Mania And Passion” is nothing short of blackened devastation opening with a slicing riff that is used fiercely with the accompanying cymbal smash.
Closing this platter of obsidian sonic malfeasance is “All the Stars” which initiates via a blasting section that you can feel leading to something more threatening and absolutely terrifying, but instead of carpet bombing the song it changes direction momentarily into a wraithlike aura only. The speed quickly dissolves that ominousness but it quickly returns this time underpinned by a bass hook astride a cascading double kick roll. The six and half minutes of this closer is inundated with riffs and changes but maintains a chilling ethos that the final riff perfectly demonstrates. The section is slower but equally horrifying as the song courses a path towards its finale which bristles with atramentous violence.
Evil Warriors epitomise what was truly dangerous about black metal 20 plus years ago and their second album is unfettered sonic violence and corruption that will wholly encapsulate you with its outright malice.
(9/10 Martin Harris)