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When I first had to face this album I thought I could have been a brutal thrash one. I don’t know why, maybe it was for the cover artwork or the release year and when I read the reviews for it, I realized it was a sort of a way between the speed metal and the classic thrash. I was very curious also because this album received different opinions and I wanted to check it by myself. I found it and I decided to give it a review for those who, like me, were curious, in order to give a decent and sincere opinion.
They could be not the most well-know act in this genre but since the opener comes, we can already taste their power at the instruments. The production is not very good, especially for the guitars tone, that is a bit low in volumes and with a strange distortion, reminiscent of the very first Bathory but with less black/death touches. The tempo is already quite fast, especially if we take the bass drum as example. The riffs are compact and we can also find a very good solo in the middle section. It’s fast, always a bit melodic and shredded. It lasts for very long seconds and soon we return to speed and the good combination of speed and thrash metal elements.
The vocals are quite raspy but also quite melodic. They can be seen as a far more polished Becerra style, but often the tonality is similar, while during the high peaks we can hear elements from early Artillery (Flemming Rönsdorf). The fast riffs on “Mongrel Horde” are supported by very good up tempo parts and here the influences from Artillery are much more present, both for the instruments and the vocals. The solos are once again very fast, good to me and they can be found on every song here. “Down To Inferno” is an example of this, while the tempo is quite mid-paced this time. The song is not the best and sounds quite lame on these parts.
“Liar’s Dice” is definitely faster but average in ideas and compactness. It lacks on memorable parts, while the drumming is always remarkable on the double kicks. By the way, everything sounds normal and not that powerful. For example “Passing Away-Kublai Khan” is a far more complete and well-developed track. It has everything: fast restarts, shredded solos and dramatic, gloomy breaks. The vocals are even more evocative and the drums sections are always precise. “Clash of the Swords” has inside more speed metal elements, from the riffage to the drumming. It shows some good mid-paced breaks too and it’s instrumental.
The last “Battle Hymn (The Centurian)” has high pitched vocals and fast parts but everything is just normal. I don’t know if the production damages a bit the violence and the assault of the songs, but here there’s nothing memorable but just goodish. The album flows quite normally and it’s a bit boring too in some parts. The songwriting and the structures are not that solid and they lack in variety. All in all, a simple and quite harmless thrash/speed album that can be listened once every year more or les, but nothing more. It has goodish moments but the rest is too boring.