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It took me strangely long to get to hear Deathchain on album, I've experienced them live several times so I know they can tear your head from your shoulders, kick your nuts up to your lungs and have you smile through it all.
However, I wasn't certain whether their ferocious deathrash would do a thing on the album, without the energy and feel of the live environment.
Well, this debut already shows me I had nothing to fear, they manage to carry a lot of the intensity and energy of the live shows into the studio with them. The production work backs up the songs well, without making the whole sound either too polished.
The opener "Chaos Wartech" makes a statement right from the beginning and anyone worthy of reading this website will know what to expect from the point when Rotten yells "GO!" Rapid fire drumming and riffing ensues with raspy thrashy screaming supplemented by more deathly growls. It's not a headlong plunge into the speed kills-tunnel, however, as tempo changes periodically to keep things interesting. We are treated great, heavy midpaced bang-your-heads moments. The soloing reinforces the thrash feeling greatly. The main vocal style reminds me of At The Gates sligthly, and that's never a bad thing in my book.
"Rabid Vultures" is a heavy, mid-tempo thrasher. It shreds, simple and effective, building a good momentum around the chorus without speeding up much.
More death? Well, "Poltergeist (The Nemesis)" adds to the DEATHrash and is very intense. The fourth song "March Of The Thousand Legions" continues with the technical deathrash, with background chanting of "MARCH!" adding heaviness to the chorus. Sounds great! At 01:48 a really cool solo part starts, followed by alternating death growls and thrash screams.
Another chorus with the chanting, some riffing and the song ends with one final "MARCH!" and a sample. A standout track.
The follower "Carnal Damage" starts very in-your-face, as if worried whether it gets noticed after the previous awesome track. It's good, but not as memorable as "March..." no matter how much it thrashes and rages. The chorus is somehow unsatisfactory... well, can't hit the jackpot everytime.
I love the next track "Undertaker" just for the opening, it rules in hell. If only the song itself was as good... It goes quite straight ahead, full speed for the majority of its duration. Not bad, but I expected a bit more! After the initial slight dissappointment it grows on you as you listen to it few more times. Has also a cool solo part at 02:50!
"Skeletal Claws" comes next and they do the good old "bad demo sound into full blast"-trick for the start. The sound itself has excellent thrash riffing and great use of dual vocals. Another favourite! Complete with Slayeresque soloing.
The bass bit in the beginning of "Carrier Of Pestilence" is somewhat surprising and neat, refreshing. This the longest of the album's tracks, clocking 04:25, and has many good parts. I'm just not too wild about the use of the low, mumbly growls used here, but they don't ruin a great track. Last we have the title track which is another unrelenting assault, very brutal.
With a total playtime of 32:50 this is a very tight and intense package, which is just the way it should be with this genre. Great musicianship, good vocals and general headbangability level is high, so what more do you need? They're not re-inventing metal, but that's not the point either is it? Go and dig this up and if possible try to see them live as well.