From expansive slabs of churning bass groove and madly accelerating blasts through to lacerating spirals of knife-edged tremolo, there’s no mistaking the classic, quintessentially deathly trappings with which this prime, box-ticking specimen of the genre is heavily laden.
With its thick and fast succession of reverb-laden blasts gathering ripping momentum before plunging headlong into a bewildering tangle of shrill, notey guitar accents, ‘Slay the Prophet’ deals in generous measures of lethal and fast-acting aggressive energies. Elsewhere, ‘Demonic III’ sees scalding lashings of tremolo and delirious twin guitar phrases punctuate its battering, tautly muscular core with stunning clarity and prominence in the mix, while ‘Abysmal Misery’s’ rhythmic blasts of bass-laden aggression showcase impeccably manipulated placement and timing. Furnished with a suitably caustic repertoire of dry-lung barks and gargling, semi-intelligible snarls, this is as gloriously unrelenting an assault as any extreme metal junkie could wish for.
But for all the barrelling energy and bone-splintering brute force being illustrated here in spades, there’s a nonetheless nagging lack of variation in tone and pacing, with the record’s various technical breaks and stratospheric solo work bordering on textbook and predictable in places. That said, there’s no shortage of atmospheric intensity and gripping shifts in mood and tempo to be found in the darkly turbulent throes of ‘Whirlwind of Immortality’. Note, in particular, the skilful splicing of intensely sinister instrumental breaks and frenetic, multidirectional flurries of notes in amongst its breakneck episodes of propulsive aggression. In sum, theirs is a pleasingly relentless and, in places, electrifying body of work.
'Scourge of the Enthroned' is out now on Century Media