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Tasty morsel, waiting for banquet - 76%

gasmask_colostomy, October 13th, 2017

Having released a split in 2011 called American Death Thrash, it should hardly come as a surprise to hear what kind of music Sacrificial Slaughter play. That kind of straightforwardness in choosing a name for the split is also significant: the Californians opt for a no-frills approach to bludgeoning the listener with riffs, double-bass drumming, and visceral roars, limiting the six onslaughts on this mini-album to barely three minutes apiece. However, this is enough for the purpose, the five-piece getting their point across within these constraints, often foregoing too much repetition in order to ensure that the riffs arrive forcibly, the verses make their impact, and the leads gild the edges of a certifiably metallic EP.

Generation of Terror strikes a great balance between being deathly thrash and thrashy death, the influences of Hate Eternal and Cannibal Corpse just gaining ascendancy over Slayer et al. As such, fans of the Sacrificial Slaughter who released Spontaneous Suicide might be slightly disappointed to know that the hooks and irresistible adrenaline rush of old give way to emphasized blastbeats and a broader, flatter guitar tone. This means that speed is not the order of the day on songs like 'Bare Knuckle Beat Down' and 'Race War', although 'Systematic Genocide' is a lightning opener and there is evidence to suggest that someone told Jake De Los Santos he would be fired if he couldn’t get to 200bpm on the title track. The intense solo section of 'Generation of Terror' might just be the most exhilarating thing here, though that’s not to discount the brute power and decisive attack of a song like 'Bodies in the Basement'. That said, Sacrificial Slaughter occasionally allow brutality to take a back seat and are content to have fun, evidenced by the Carnivore cover that closes the release amid several interesting riffing styles.

All this means that Generation of Terror is no mean stop-gap EP, containing a full set of worthy songs that terrify and entertain as much as one would hope from the style. Naturally, not much is included that will be new to fans of the genre, though the influences are impeccably chosen and the homage well executed, so there should be few complaints on that front. On the other hand, the time is now well past for Sacrificial Slaughter to release another full-length, four years having elapsed since the last effort, so fans have every right to feel miffed at the sparseness of this offering, though its consistency may be appeasing. Generation of Terror will sate your hunger, but leave you ready for the main course.

Originally written for The Metal Observer -