Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2021
Encyclopaedia Metallum

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

Privacy Policy

Masters of Insidious, Demonic Puppets - 85%

bayern, April 6th, 2018

This band can’t be placed squarely within the old school thrash resurrection campaign although their inception coincided with the appearance of the latter movement, the guys more interested in the thrash/death metal hybrid as a way of expression. Still, on the debut traces of the Bay-Area can easily be detected, but their co-existence with more brutal deathy escapades and clumsy groovy decisions didn’t work very consistently. The sophomore was more successful in pulling out the death/thrash symbiosis both styles helping each other more, with the groove decidedly left aside.

Things were moving in the right direction, but even the biggest optimists couldn’t have foreseen the radical metamorphosis witnessed on the album here. The band have embraced the technical/progressive idea whole-heartedly ending up with something not far from Carcass’ “Heartwork”, only more exuberantly intricate. “Children of War” starts this delightful saga with choppy, hectic, not very predictable rhythms that change every few seconds, the delivery trying to accommodate a more individualistic “physiognomy”, but comes ”Humanburger” and the “Heartwork” overtones take over, only interpreted through a more twisted, less orthodox “spectacles”, the interpretation acquiring a more brutal, but equally as intriguing, shape on “Human Crashtest”.

Death metal seems to have side-lined thrash at this point, but “The Walking Dead” brings it back in the game with stylized technical riffage galore and stop-and-go surprises at every corner. “Infected Mind” stays the course and even goes up the technicality scale with mazey vortex-like configurations which nicely interlace with vivid galloping motifs; and “Realm of Illusion” partially loses the plot with a portion of misplaced blast-beats which bring the winds of death again. “Forgotten” pulls a balancing act with very effective, creepy minimalistic riffs, a surprising anti-climactic piece with appropriate speedy jolts; but there won’t be two in a row as “Soul Reaper” reaps… sorry, rips the listener apart with some of the most intense guitars on the album. The latter don’t get lost on “God’s Slave” where thrash and death join forces for the creation of a marvellous dynamic tribute to the Death legacy also served with great melodic leads and a spell-binding outro.

The band really elevated their musical proficiency here, and it seemed as though they would squeeze more niceties from the thrash/death metal symbiosis in the days to come. However, productivity in their case wasn’t synonymous with quality as the following “Nemesis”, which appeared less than a year later, was a less striking effort the guys focusing on death metal more, leaving the technical exuberance of the album here behind. Not a bad showing by any stretch, it didn’t quite fulfil the promises that were left hanging in the air a few months earlier… I think it’s time the band took out these nefarious wicked puppets again, and unleash them upon the scene for more stylish, complex havoc.