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It has been a few years since I first had the pleasure of hearing this album right about when the existence of Barbarian Wrath records came to my attention. Here was a label that pedaled very primitive, oldschool, and dirty forms of metal and this was my first exposure to both the label and the band Megiddo. If the idea of an ultimate statement of intent can be used here then this album represents just that for both of these entities. Far from being erroneously categorized as merely a “retro” band, Megiddo provides a perfectly realized vision of metal as it was at a certain point in time. Shards of primitive thrash and black metal are combined with small but effectively used doses of traditional metal to produce something that is very harsh and filthy but also very memorable and eminently listenable. Blaspherion’s drumming provides a minimal backbeat to the proceedings with mostly simple punkish thrash beats as his mainstay. The heart and soul of Megiddo belongs to Chorazaim who provides the guitars, bass and vocals. The guitar tone here is simply awesome and has since become associated in my mind with how the “perfect” black metal guitar tone should be. Thick and disgustingly nasty with plenty of treble and crunch allows all the riffs to be clearly identifiable and provides a ton of heaviness but takes away none of the raw evil nature of the music. Vocally much the same could be said as Chorazaim’s hoarse and much distorted voice simply adds to the music to give this album a sense of pure evil mixed with excellent songcraft. Picking stand-out tracks is a challenge as everything is so good but a special mention of the third track The Oath needs to be said. Imagine Quorthon at his most epic Hammerheart moments and that is what you will find on this track wrapped in Megiddo’s very distinct delivery. Great Razor and Exciter covers are included too to round the album out. Timeless.