Catching attention supporting Obituary on these shores in 2018 and with The Sound Of Steel resonating in our ears this Californian Melodeath, thrash act are having a bit of fun and letting their hair down with this stop-gap EP. This was actually released just before Halloween but only found its way to us just prior to the festering season and with that in mind the horror themes included are perfect for fans of pumpkins and fiery riffs. Kicking things off are two original compositions and the title track is quick to get its chops on with some delirious near neo-classical shredding. Its obvious these boys can play and worship at the font of Maiden and Priest but with ex-Warbringer vocalist Jadran “Conan” Gonzalez at the helm with his gnarly more deathlike vocals should see them going down well, with fans of bands like Amon Amarth as well as Children Of Bodom (that is if the latter still actually exist). You are in danger here of tying yourself in nods playing air-guitar and banging your head along and if you still have one of those on your shoulders the Evil Dead inspired ‘Swallow Your Soul’ is likely to bite it off at the neck. Suitably ghoulish, this choppy old cabin in the woods welcomes the unsuspecting in with open arms and throws open the cellar door with panache as guitars squeal and scream away like the hounds of hell are on their tail. The horrid gurgles and rasps are not going to leave you a gibbering wreck however as the band are about to put the fun in funeral with some inspired covers over the rest of the release.

We charge headlong into Beetlejuice but as the rest of the tracks are instrumental there is no danger of the inspiration appearing over the macabre romp of Danny Elfman’s classic composition, the galloping riffs more likely to have you smiling than gibbering in terror. It’s totally flamboyant stuff designed to allow the players to really impress with the twin guitar harmonics. So too is Bernard Hermann’s short, sweet and slashing Psycho theme which is probably best not listened to in the shower… It stalks away and is instantly familiar played with zeal and exuberance, the dish served up perfectly in just under the 2 minute mark. Tempestuously blazing into the last number it is the turn of the brooding dark malevolence of Mussorgsky’s Night On Bare Mountain and to say the Russian’s most recognised theme has never rushed in such a fast fashion would be no lie. Seriously, although this has been done by many before it really is quite impressive and fair play to them for handling this in a way the composer is likely to be dancing in his grave rather than turning in it.

(7/10 Pete Woods)