All of the good premises about the record have been kept. The Italian horde born from the ashes of Unholy Land in 2009 debuts with ten ferocious tracks talking Elisabeth Bathory, Satanic adoration, an exorcism inspired by a real event occurred in Italy between 1939 and 1955), the Apocalypse, the Antichrist coming, assorted blasphemies. As to the already involving guitar and vocal sound engineering off the Alphaomega studio, the triggered drums and the rotten bass lines can't but increase the listening pleasure but this only after an inky-dark intro, "The Forge of Souls", seeing the guest keys contribution of Aleph's Giulio Gasperini.
Dedicated to Satanel's Zago Destroyer Stefano, the album is opened by "Csejthe's Bloodbaths", following a violent Death metal path with different kinds of Black vocals and a few Thrash metal patterns played by the second guitar; the solos are skillful, piercing and aristocratic, but the vomited vocals are what makes this song a jewel. Brutal as hell, this song contains a crushing main riff that accompanies you to the end till all your bones are battered and bruised. Nowhere to hide from Soulphureus's wrath!
Almost all the compositions last long enough not only because of axe solos, but also due to breaks such as the one in the central part of "Holy Trinity Desecration", and deeply atmospherical Dark metal finalé like the one at the end of the same track on the trail of Dark Millennium's "Diana Read Peace". There are moments during this song where I can find similarities with the early best structures by Kataklysm, even if the solo part and the arranging are decidedly European. A tip of the hat to the devastating drumwork is a must on this song.
"Burned by the Exorcism" inserts a Thrash riff, while the initial vocals are a possessed's; there's a great deal of diverse vocal styles here, ranging from the typical Black ones, to other in growling, to other perverted ones, as well as other diabolical throat emissions reconnecting to the beginning of the song. Once again a guitar solo contrasts with the Black/Death blastbeats heard just before and afterwards. Refernces to this composition are Incantation, Immolation, Evil Incarnate, Suffocation, Deeds Of Flesh and tons of others, still with a coherent veil of freshness guaranteed by the band's talent.
Dark/Death metal with lugubrious opening Black vocals the ingredients of "Gates of Doom"; the vocals are just a bit growling to make them seriously menacious, so as to contrast with the clean wicked ones; don't come and tell me this is a small detail, because this relatively short track is one of the highlights of the album.
No time to recover and the long "Nemesis of the Light" causes an undescribable shock wave; the rawest bass lines of the album, an assault fast spawn of Death metal, whose fierceness is alternated with Thrash metal riffs chosen by Nacht to enrich the formula; once again a break alà Apophis, a solo full of pathos (probably the best peresent here), vocals that during the skullfucking chaos struggle to distinguish themselves for their ritualism, and ultrasmashing dynamic drumming turn this opus to a musical prayer for Satan/Lotan; the middle part embraces Doom/Death before tight bass lines herald the core riff and the nth beasty speed-ups halfway between Black and Death.
No presentation is needed for "The Exorcist", a ripping Possessed cover version, whose Thrash metal backbone is bent to the intent of making it sound as extreme as possible vocal-wise, although the guitar solo is skillful and clean like not many listened of late. The end is rendered amazingly, I'm speechless!
These tracks will leave you breathless...their power is undeniable, and with "Tombstones in Heaven" the mesmerizing force constitutes added value, whereas the tight structures are built so as not to sound the usual repeated stuff, also thanks to a tireless guitar player who has neverending imagination and a really elevated level of training in all respects (skill, arrangements, capability of communicating something precious briefly and with no frills, knowing exactly what to do at the right time, ability to choose the needed solution in every chip of the song).
"Soulphureus" is as punishing as a boulder onto the cranium; the bulldozing riffs, the cruel vocals and the hyperfast drums spare no energy like there's no tomorrow; this song is also interesting because we understand how to pronounce the monicker correctly, or better as the band intended, which is: the first part in English, the second in Latin.
It's not easy to be raw and brutal as fuck and maintain the attention high, but with "Rest in Hell" the four demons have fulfilled this mission impossible by concocting modern and obsolete patterns at their finest. You can understand we're before experienced extreme Metalheads who've been into this scene from the beginning not only because they've chosen an 80s traditional cover artwork which I must admit I like a lot (but I'm sure some might disapprove of); their music speaks by itself as these four guys are able to make the difference with mediocre acts even with the quite short closing title track. Scores of musicians would have failed, they've been able to deliver us another masterpiece with just a few growled vocals and tribal drums in the matter of a handful of seconds. Whatever resources or conditions you supply them with, an ace shall always stand out in the blink of an eye.
Last but not least, the four-piece presents itself with an excellent look and logo. This band is on their way to becoming the next big thing despite Mornak's replacement soon after the recording. What more can you exact?
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - October 30, 2012