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Hell On Every Front - 90%

TotalWarfare, April 3rd, 2007

Bloodthorn
Genocide
Red Stream, 2006

In the history of metal, there has been much talk of war. From the controversial but not really serious thematics of some Slayer songs to the so-called War Metal genre that Bolt Thrower claims to have originated, to the hilarious clad-in-spiky-armour NSBM of Graveland and consorts, to the current hype of shoddy Viking/Folk/Pagan/Battle/Epic Metal rampaging among the mallcore kiddies, the interpretation of warfare has been offered many times, with varying success. In a way, its favourability as a subject is natural, given the rebellious, juvenile and heavy nature of our beloved brand of music. Recently, however, a somewhat inconspicuous band has released something to change our perceptions. Enter Genocide.

Forget all your conceptions of war. There is no honour. There is no hatred. There is no pride. There is no patriotism. There is only pure contempt - the loathing of the foe, the wish to end his inferior existence. Bloodthorn's war effort is not the heroic clash of sword upon shield, nor is it the rumble of tank battle. It is the desire to bludgeon the enemy in the face with the butt of your rifle and spit upon his bloodied face. To run his vile body through with your bayonet and remove him with a shot. To mass bomb helpless citizens. No quarter asked, and none given. Beyond compare to anything yet released, Genocide epitomises the reality of war - the total annihilation of the enemy and all its thoughts and creations.

And how did they tackle that? With simplicity. There's no frills or fun to be found here, people. No thrashy drum patterns, no chugga-chugga breakdowns, no exquisite technicalities. Best of all, no wimpy epic chanting! Bloodthorn offers us an auditive rendition of an all-out assault with no remorse, and as such their compositions can be no less pummeling. Full points go to their rhythm section, for the drums are the artillery shrapnel shredding soldiers in no man's land, and the fat bass sound is the subsonic shockwave that liquefies their intestines. And over this carnage the guitars speak, and they utter the warcry of a host of men with singular intention: Genocide.

I'm sure some will find this album boring or distasteful. Naturally, of them I will think as the enemy at war: loathsome, weak, inferior and cowardly. Get this album and find out which side you'll be on.

Standout tracks: Blood and Iron, Invoking the Apocalypse, Forced Selfmutilation, Hell on the Eastern Front.