Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2020
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Hell's Work Is Done - 84%

Larry6990, March 25th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2020, CD, Massacre Records (Digipak)

I don't think I've ever overlooked a band quite as badly as I've overlooked Assassin. Such a generic band moniker (yet so obviously appropriate for thrash metal) just never stuck out to me, though it really should have. After receiving the promo and taking my first listen, I foolishly assumed this was a new act on their debut full-length, sounding youthful, vibrant and hungry. Upon performing rudimentary research, I learn that Assassin have been active since at least 1984, and maybe even earlier! Bestia Immundis marks the Germans' sixth full-length - their fourth since reforming in 2002 - but might as well be them rocketing out of the starting gates with the appetite of a teenage Kreator circa 1985. Let me tell you; if this record were released in 1984, it would have been some furiously heavy shit!

Considering this type of straight-for-the-throat, barbaric thrash metal is my absolute favourite style of music ever - I'm currently chiding myself for not having Assassin on my books sooner. Bestia Immundis wastes no fuckin' time in melting our faces with some fast-picking tremolo riffage that quickly becomes an integral characteristic of this record. Skipping to the middle of any track will quickly reveal that all band members are at the top of their game, even the sole original member Jürgen Scholz (who must be getting on a bit now!). Newest member (and now Sodom's newest member!), Frank Blackfire, doesn't just have the coolest name in thrash metal, but he more than makes up for the lack of a second guitarist; both him and Scholz scorch through lightning-fast riffs which drive the energy of the album. Drummer Björn Sondermann and vocalist Ingo Bajonczak sound like they're really putting in the effort to keep up, but kicking ass in their own way. Ingo's roar-some voice, in particular, is exactly what this band needed to stay relevant as an old-school thrash band in the 2020s. It's super fun to shout along with him in the gang-shout choruses of songs like "How Much Can I Take?" and "Shark Attack".

Musically, this is fast 'n' ferocious thrash metal straight out of a hellish pit somewhere between Demolition Hammer and Destruction. Undeniably Teutonic in approach, there is nary a moment of respite available... neither do I want one! Just keep melting my face with blazing riffs like "The Swamp Thing" and ripping solos like "Chemtrails - Part II". Speaking of that latter track: after the album's only respite - "Chemtrails - Part I" - it's the perfect, most batshit, way to climax the album. The songwriting, in general, triumphs. Bestia Immundis rides the fine line between being basic-bitch beer-based bangers, and taking a more progressive approach. The often longer-than-necessary song lengths betray their desire to be taken seriously, but they chock the runtime with memorable hooks and points of interest. For example: "No More Lies" may verge on 6 minutes, but that slamming chorus will always have me coming back for more. The boisterous "Shark Attack" takes the opposite approach, with its one-track-minded shout-along refrain. Equally as fun, but lacking in substance.

The highlights of this album lie in the disc's epicentre. "The Wall" might be yet another scathing modern thrash attack on Donald Trump, but the trebly riff-set, brutal pre-chorus, and mega-addictive refrain ('FINAL DOOMSDAY!!') really get the blood pumping. Similarly, "Hell's Work Is Done" is a real ball-buster, but it heightens the viciousness with chunky riffs and super anthemic chanting of the title. "The Killing Light" offers a refreshingly haunting clean picked intro, and a sneering chorus full of menace (though the middle section is eerily reminiscent of Kreator's "Enemy Of God"). "War Song", too, puts the pedal to the metal and has me throwin' shit whenever the short gap before 'WWWAAAARRR!' drops. Assassin have more than proved themselves to be a convincing thrash metal act for the 21st century, even if the roots of this project go back to 1982. Even though this could benefit from cutting a minute or two here and there, Bestia Immundis is destined to be on my list of best thrash albums of 2020 - and the German thrashers are now firmly on my radar.