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Blood For The Blood God! - 90%

Larry6990, November 7th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2018, CD, BWK Records

Man, I miss the days of full instrumental intros on thrash albums! Is it just me, or does that not seem to be a thing anymore? You know, the likes of S.O.D.’s ”March Of The S.O.D.” or Megadeth’s ”Into The Lungs Of Hell” which produced some of metal’s finest stand-alone riffs and athletic fretwork. Well thankfully, Finland’s ArchiTorture deliver the goods with ”Dark Matter Annihilation”, the two-minute thrashtastic introduction to their sophomore album World Peace. Six whole years (and one severed finger!) after their immature but effective debut, Spare No One, ArchiTorture reach a maturity on their follow-up record. Considering the turbulence of the line-up since the band’s inception in 2008, it’s an achievement that such a high-quality release made it to light. But this only cements the efficacy of multi-instrumentalist Anssi Kantola and his partner in thrash Sami Eskola. What a duo these two make! I hope they remain the core of ArchiTorture.

Don’t let the use of the word ‘maturity’ deter or lull you. World Peace is half an hour of pure thrashing mayhem straight from the German school of 1986. Any fans of early Sodom, Kreator or Tankard will absolutely lap this up – I certainly did! The speedier material on this album is finely crafted to sound like it’s almost out of control, but the Finns know exactly when to reign in the chaos, expertly regaining control with some solid mid-tempo riffage. Nothing displays this finer than the one-two punch of opening tracks ”Necromany Amplifier” and ”Addiction” – the former containing one of the album’s best riffs (2:11). Speaking of riffs, World Peace is responsible for some of the most memorable and headbang-worthy of 2018. Look no further than the first 20 seconds of ”Gone With The Blastwave”… my God, that opening riff is fucking awesome, and that chorus is a thrasher’s delight.

This album is structured wonderfully. Song lengths range from the short 2-3 minute blasts of ”Weapon With Consciousness” and ”Massacre 912”, to the more prog-tinged mammoths like ”Immaculate Darkness” and ”Blood God” (more on that later!). This carefully chosen tracklist ensures that the record never drags and has 100% replay value – a rare treat for an album of this sub-genre. Anssi’s voice is far superior to his predecessor, channelling sheer fury whilst being perfectly decipherable. His performance behind the kit is a solid pillar of reliance but never loses one ounce of stamina, especially when throwing out the occasional blast beat (the title-track is a masterclass!). Sami Eskola, too, is on a pedestal of excellence – both for his creative masterful riffs and sheer balls-to-the-wall freneticism on the leads.

The crowning jewel of World Peace is the previously mentioned 8-minute monster ”Blood God” – hailing from the pre-ArchiTorture days, when the band was still called Treachery. This masterpiece has been fine-tuned into a multi-faceted gem with so many riffs you won’t know where to look. I utterly adore when thrash bands pull out a stomping march-like riff, such as Anthrax’s ”Keep It In The Family” or Overkill’s ”Horrorscope” – and the 1:45 mark in this track has one of the all-time best. My number 1 riff, song and chorus of 2018 – no doubt. If you’re the most dedicated of thrash fans, or just a casual listener who finds themselves nodding to Toxic Holocaust riffs, you simply must hear ArchiTorture’s new album. It’s not just a great thrash metal record, it has instilled within me an optimism for the future of my most beloved sub-genre.