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Good Old School European Death - 75%

brocashelm, December 31st, 2008

Anybody remember the heyday of metal fanzines back in the middle eighties? Well two dudes in this band ran a death/thrash zine called Blackthorn, that was held in excellent esteem by underground metallers, and they produced some high quality, ferocious death metal as well. Their style is very redolent of elder Celtic Frost, which means that there are eccentric riffs and arrangements touched off with fast thrashing sections and good doom pace thunder as well. There are perhaps too many mid-tempo sections that go on for too long without much variation, and trimming the running times of some of these cuts would have been a good idea. But for a demo, the production is excellent, and it's hard to believe these guys were never offered a decent album deal. In addition to their demo work, they appeared (as Samhain) on Speed Metal Hell II and Thrash Metal Attack, two fine samplers from New Renaissance records.