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Something to Catapult You out of the Trenches - 86%

bayern, October 9th, 2019

A lop-sided recording this one; one that I didn’t like at all on first listen. I naturally got attracted by the title; “exhibition of speed”, come on… you’ve got to have at least a small portion of that to justify it, right?

Sure thing although the exhibitions of speed here are not exactly the highlights; this privilege goes to the two longer, more cleverly-executed compositions. But first things first: this is intense, openly furious at times, classic thrash aggravated by forceful shouty deathy vocals. Back to these longer numbers: “Acid Test” is an admirable choppy semi-technical roller-coaster with plenty of hyper-active moments and absolutely fabulous virtuoso lead sections which would make everyone from Kai Hansen to Andy Laroque inordinately proud; and “The Immortal Few” is a wild proto-death affair which suddenly gets carved by brilliant technical burrows arriving out of nowhere, those later popping up again to make this number a perennial delight for the ears with surprising alternations between extreme aggression and eye-opening technicality.

These two numbers open and close the proceedings, sandwiching brutal near-hardcore outrages (“Trench Death Gestapo”), hyper-active gallopers (“Most Holy”), crossover frolickers (“Married Murderer”), and heavy punishing steam-rollers (“Face Plate Removal”). At least half of the songs are short super-concrete outbursts the guys moshing on those with reckless abandon, not caring at all about musical coherence and discipline. This side of the band’s repertoire may pass for a setback creating a feeling of frivolity the exception being the chaotic piece of twisted genius “Forcing House” which is total Hellwitch-esque madness, sticking among the other shorters which could have benefited from a more psychotic rendition.

Yeah, lop-sided stuff again; one that I grew to like more and more with each subsequent listen; it’s by no means a compelling homogenous slab of greatness, but the loftier moments are simply too superb to be left in the trenches. Exhibitors of speed? Absolutely, with something to spare at that. Propagators of technicality? Hell yes, regardless of the fact that those sparkles of genius are unheralded at best, including on the mentioned long cuts, but man, do they make you go back to this album again and again, making you listen more intently for more such niceties…

cause I’m pretty sure they had been provided in spades on the advance promo a few months later, containing nine brand new tracks, closing on a bit over 40-min… I know fans (yours truly) out there who would give five precious years of their lives to get a hold of this treasure… lying in those trenches near Dover would be a pleasure for them… if only they could get another similar fix of wild unrestrained violence and unpremeditated ingenious complexity.