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Massacre - 97%

Felix 1666, November 1st, 2014
Written based on this version: 2005, CD, Metal Blade Records

Since the foundation of the band, the German black thrashers of Desaster have always known in which direction they wanted to go in. Their unswerving attitude has led to a homogeneous discography without twists and turns. Nevertheless, there exists one astonishing album which differs just a bit from their other full-lengths. Of course, I am speaking about "Angelwhore". While the remaining outputs of the group create the atmosphere of a battle, "Angelwhore" is a real massacre. Desaster rape, plunder and pillage while taking no prisoners - fortunately, only in terms of music. Explicit song titles such as "The Blessed Pestilence" or "Revelation Genocide" are not promising too much. This most violent songwriting approach matches perfectly with the ultra-brutal vocal performance of lead vocalist Sataniac who makes full use of his strengths. In accordance with his pseudonym, he really seems to be possessed by the devil. In any event, he growls and screams like Lord Satan himself, imperiously, vigorously and mercilessly. But that´s not all. Although he still does not deliver various moods, Sataniac proves that his voice is more powerful than that of his glorious predecessor Okkulto. It is therefore no exaggeration to say that the outstanding performance of Sataniac crowns the here presented tracks.

As far as I know, some Desaster fans complained that "Angelwhore" did not shower them with catchy songs. Believe me, that is quite simply nonsense. Well, you have to listen to this wicked album for more than just one time. But the songs are infectious and you will listen to them again and again, voluntary or involuntary. If interpreted widely, this is just an other kind of catchiness. Apart from that, some parts are undoubtlessly very catchy in its original sense. Just test, for instance, the bruising beginning of "The Blessed Pestilence" or the fairly melodious introduction of "Conqueror´s Supremacy". Needless to say that inhumane screams of Sataniac end this unusual harmony in a reckless manner.

The cruel cover motif fits very well with the musical roughness and it is certainly no coincidence that the mandatory pictures of castle ruins were replaced by images of medieval scenes of torture. By the way, one might be of the opinion that the cover artwork marks a violation of religious feelings. Of course, nobody needs to appreciate it. But my understanding is that the painting is definitely of artistic value. Furthermore, the female being on the cover visualises the title track in an almost perfect manner. And while we are on the subject of the title track, this tune is a worthy representative of the full-length. It kicks off with a mean riff and turns to a first class neckbreaker. Intelligently designed tempo changes and a beastly chorus are the main features of the tune - of course, except Sataniac´s contribution. While being apparently in a sadistic mood, he adds inter alia some wicked laughters. The overwhelming "Nihilistic Overture" follows a fairly similar compositional approach. Once again, the guitar opens the song with a slowly creeping riff in a nasty manner. But the band increases gradually the tempo so that the tune ends with a fascinating high speed part. Honestly, this overwhelming conclusion catapults the song among the very best of their career. Generally speaking, the interaction of brute eruptions and insidious riffs characterises the entire album. As a final example, listen to the raging "Havoc" and its homicidal guitar work at 3.07. I doubt that there are better ways in order to create a malevolent atmosphere.

"Angelwhore" benefits from the clean yet powerful production which hardly offers room for optimization. It might be just an empty phrase, but the album really leaves a trace of devastation. You cannot get used to the brute force and unbelievable heaviness of this record. In addition, it has an admirable long-term effect because of its highly elaborated song structures. Finally, a bell rings at the end of the well succeeded outro, which features the medieval side of the band. Be aware, it could be you for whom the bell tolls.