It’s been a good couple of years since ‘At the Behest of Time’, but Shroud of Satan’s orthodox manifesto remains the same.

The German bands 2nd full-length album ‘Of Evil Descent’ proudly states…

“Our cult and identity cannot be acquired. It’s neither subject to acculturation nor assimilation nor any transformative procedures that pervert its essence.”

Fair enough. So, what we get with this release is more of the same.

Predictable? Yes.

A good thing? Absolutely.

The bands 36 minutes of rampant, old-school 2nd wave chaos begins dramatically with something akin to an ‘Omen’ style soundtrack and some spoken word samples, before the ice-cold riffs bring both pace and tension for the instrumental ‘Prelude’.

‘Last Glimpse of Light’ heralds in shimmering guitars and unholy yelped vocals, with simple, but effective drumming that isn’t afraid to double up on the mayhem when necessary, while ‘A New Dimension’ gives us a punkier and crustier vibe. The guitars may be razor sharp here, but there’s still a depressing tone of impending annihilation, but the keyboards introduced later on in the track sound quite majestic by comparison.

The trem-tension and fast tempo of ‘Dark Visions Beyond’ gives way to a neat groove for the “chorus”, and the album’s title track carries a compact and rather claustrophobic Endstille feel, and ‘Unlight Prism’ arguments the vocals with a gruffer sounding style and some passionate shouted lines, leading us into a piano outro. A gentle way to end the record maybe, but no less intense.

‘Of Evil Descent’ offers up its demonic declarations with brutal filth and fury, and strongly continues Shroud of Satan’s noble tradition of delivering mighty fine black metal.

(8/10 Stuart Carroll)