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A Wholesome Healing of All Fractures and Cracks - 89%

bayern, October 10th, 2021

Just as I was thinking that the band’s second creative period would be one endless field of missed opportunities, they smack this 4-tracker (a short intro and outro notwithstanding), on my father’s birthday of all days, enhancing the festive setting severalfold, compelling me to utter their name reverentially alongside luminaries from their homeland…

something I never thought I would do; their debut from the distant past was a rough-around-the-edges affair, surely aggressive, also chaotically complex, but not striking by any standards, both past and contemporary. The posthumously released “Forgotten Skeleton”, intended as the band’s actual first coming, was a similar fare, a bit better structured… but then came the new material, some 14 years later, these albums scattered anything-goes affairs that did little to excite the new millennium audience. It seemed like the old school canons wouldn’t receive the requisite aggressive baptism from this batch, not to mention any more visionary, creative flights of the imagination.

Well, it had to be the short format to save this ship from sinking… please, hail these 20-min of really impressive classic death/thrash asskickery, delivered straight to your door by Mr. Denis Barthe, the band mainman and founder, who here also takes over the mike, leaving the drums and the other guitar to two new recruits. Whether miraculously inspired or simply not having enough room to diversify his palette in a manner similar to the preceding two recordings, the man fires on full-throttle, serving a “Poisonous Potion” first, a vitriolic headbanging riff-fest that alone justifies the band name in this or in any other life. With the moshpit handsomely stirred with this one, the guys complicate the environment with “Satanic Angel Holy Devil”, a great multi-layered progressive saga with tight technical riffs looking for wider exposure amidst the constant speedy barrage. The entangled arrangements are preserved every bit of the way on “Possessed by Dawn”, a more sophisticated but equally as intense proposition with spell-binding tech-thrash breaks, blazing lead sections, and an arresting gloomy doomy epitaph. A similar formula applied on “Dripping Flesh”, with some more light-hearted speed metal thrown in to alleviate the tension from the several fever-ish intricate vortexes and the dynamic thrashing skirmishes, a rousing piece that wraps on this highly entertaining shorter with aplomb and dignity.

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting this brief gust of greatness from the band; I thought that they had already settled for their not very serious brand of varied metallisms, after two whole full-lengths woven of the same stuff, and that they would leave both the aggression and the originality to their colleagues… nope, nothing of the kind, Barthe and Co. are just warming up, they surely have more skeletons to exorcise, and this short therapy is hopefully a sign that the best for this bunch is yet to come. Cause this is hands-down Barthe’s finest hour, also production-wise; and probably even in the vocal department, the man exuding bile and spite in spades with his effective rapid-fire, semi-declamatory timbre… this isn’t exactly a field of nightmares; this is a small lawn of them, a labour of love that is bound to reap the winds on future endeavours… as long as those keep the aggression and the complexity walking hand-in-hand, in a tight inseparable bond, no fractures and no cracks would be able to stop them from giving us the long-coveted full treatment.