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Buried in the Sands of Time - 85%

VilliThorne, January 11th, 2013

Formed in 1991, Gorelust originally released their debut full-length album, Reign of Lunacy, in 1995 under the label New World Symphony. The album was released for a second time later the same year, with different cover art, in Europe by Cryptic Soul Production. The Quebec born brutal death metal group disbanded a year later and seemingly vanished from the metal scene all together, until recently when they announced their reunion and officially signed to PRC Music for their second album. In 2012, a whopping seventeen years after the initial release, PRC Music picked up and dusted off this Canadian cult classic by re-releasing it for a cumulative third time. Does Reign of Lunacy stand its ground after being buried in the sands of time for more than a decade?

For an album that came out in the mid 90's, Reign of Lunacy has a surprisingly high grade sound quality and production value that rivals the modern day death metal record. The crisp audio captures the raw, grungy tones and malicious atmosphere produced by the band, specifically casting a brighter sheen on the squealy guitar solos that slice through the onslaught of carnage like a pristine surgical knife. Although the material is thick and heavy, there is still some breathing room between the instruments. This makes this album a little more light weight than brutal death metal of today, ultimately reviving the old-school feel flawlessly.

A majority of the songs present are structured to incorporate abrupt rests that are suprising to the ear and end up redefining the entire track, making the album feel longer than it actually is; which is good seeing as the content clocks in at just under half an hour. This composure element helps to keep the listener's attention and is featured in songs such as "Gorelust", "Sclerosed Brain Eater", "Reign of Lunacy" and "Infant Devourment", each of them being completely revamped a little more than halfway through, often having a different tone and tempo than what was being heard previously. The content has a well rounded variety between signature frenzied guitar work and frantic drumming that is associated with brutal death metal, along with slower, heavier riffs that chug along and give the songs an added weight.

There are a plethora of melodiously structured high-fret guitar solos that pierce variously through the meaty slab that is Reign of Lunacy, composed mostly in a slower tempo that makes it stand out among the frenzy of instruments that lies underneath and comprised out of hammer ons/pull offs. Standing out more-so than in most brutal death metal, the bass is made very audible in fine spurts and is used in the same manner as the abrupt rests are, to gain the attention of the audience. The malevolent vocals unleash one gut busting assault after another, choosing growls over gutterals and displaying well refined skill in doing so. Tracks such as "Anthropophagist", "Extreme Aggressions (Kreator Cover)", "Gorelust", "Infant Devourment" and "Sclerosed Brain Eater" are made all the more bloodthirsty with the emphatic use of elongated bursts of demonic growls which take on a range of octaves that entice an old-era Cannibal Corpse nostalgia. The lyrics being spewed forth are imaginative and equally as nefarious as the rest of the content, in the title track they boast;

"With a screwdriver he killed his neighbor
Sticking the head with the tool
For no reason, just the pleasure of killing!"

Truly, Gorelust ended their career entirely too early and in doing so left Reign of Lunacy in a comatose slumber for far too long. It's good to see the band re-releasing this album just in time for their reunion and announcement of their planned second album so that the metal audience can re-familiarize themselves with this long lost content, which is dark, heavy and energetic. Reign of Lunacy firmly stands the test of time and sounds like it could have been recorded just yesterday, and the way the album as a whole is structured keeps the content fluidly fluctuating and entertaining listen after listen. Recommended for old-school death metal fans and those who enjoy brutal death metal, however do not expect the brutal death metal standard of gutteral vocals.

Digital Download Provided by: PRC Music

- Villi Thorne