Belgium’s deadly thrashers…a statement of fact from the PR material. Their earlier material has made waves for myself and I could not wait to hear their new output. One thing that is a touch missing is the large striking band logo on the artwork. The artwork itself is fantastic, but this band have one of my favourite logos ever, on earlier efforts, it is there, large as life. Is it just me being grumpy? Yes, of course it is, but we are all good do not fear, just saying!

It wouldn’t be a review without comparing a band to influences, so I will keep it short, old heavy thrash a-la Kreator, Sodom and a touch of black Nifelheim nihilism thrown in for good measure. The artwork is akin to that of the band Condor.

From the opening few seconds you get to grips with the gnarly aggression of ‘From the Tomb into the Void’. The star attraction for the early part of the album is ‘Hideous Affliction’. The key element is how Slaughter Messiah tend to grip you and take you along with their journey. Magical touches such as the drum roll intro to ‘Descending to Black Fire’ prior to the pummelling nature of the track itself. This puts a smile on your face and shows how far the band have come since their earlier material such as that displayed on ‘Black Speed Terror’.  The aura of terror, of bleakness, of dark minded sophistication is channelled throughout this glorious aggressive listening experience whilst the band have expanded their musical dexterity and interpretation.

Slaughter Messiah have really developed, this album is very good and I am instantly smitten when I hit the play button. This release will stand the test of time. No bullshit, no trends, ‘Cursed to the Pyre’ is an honest bestial thrash assault made ever greater by the production and quality of the song arrangements.

(8.5/10 Paul Maddison)