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As part of the process - 77%

Colonel Para Bellum, August 20th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2017, CD, Handful of Hate (Limited edition, Digipak)

In the first instance, this release is perceived as old-school thrash metal, performed in modern conditions. The likes of Kreator and Dark Angel spring to mind. Nevertheless, for some reason I can't shake the feeling that in terms of atmospheric valuation "The Lash ov Nihil" is thrash metal-revival, but not old school thrash metal at all. Maybe because Verwüstung jumped into thrash metal, turning away from black metal (despite the fact that the vocals remained "black metal-ish"). By the way, once upon a time the genre-switching in the opposite direction was condemned.

However, except the fitting to genre riffs, Verwüstung use general "thrash metal schticks" rarely: there is only one solo on the whole "album" (humph) – in the second song "Nuclear Dawn" at 4:03, it is more in the vein of US thrash metal than German; at the beginning of the third song "The Lash ov Nihil" we hear a high pitched scream, well, it's not falsetto at all; in the fifth song "Goat Vomit Storm" classic for the genre choral shouts are being used. That's all.

On further listening, it seems that this release ushers in not so much the transition to thrash metal from black metal, as the process of this transition. There are songs towards the end of the block of new ones, that are not quite, let's say, adapted to the present day of the band. The sixth song "The Lord ov Plague, Thy Kingdom Come" and the seventh "On Paths Forbidden" begin with the rather peculiar "black metal-ish" riffs, nevertheless, hereupon the musicians start to play something similar to thrash metal, but finish both compositions with black metal again. The eighth "Outro" is nothing short of "Battles in the North", and from 1:40 some kind of avant-garde black metal begins... alas, it rapidly fades! Meanwhile, I liked this passage the most.

So, the first impression was deceiving: thrash metal is definitely declining from the beginning until the end of "The Lash ov Nihil". You can even draw a downward diagram.

An added bonus is four songs from the previously unreleased "In the Name ov Salvation" EP. The recording quality is worse, but this stuff seems much more interesting to me. Although this part of the release begins with almost grindcore (by the way, this stratagem was preserved in "new" Verwüstung too), it is 100% black metal: here general "black metal-ish" manner is mixed with distinctive techniques. It's not that on "In the Name ov Salvation" Verwüstung sound more melodic, but more musical. "IV" is the best song (twelfth track) here.

I must admit, "old" Verwüstung is more to my liking. I love thrash metal, however the new sound of the band passed me by. I just want to note, that (ah, although during their gigs the guys behave rakishly) their music – whether "old"or "new" – is really hateful. To a large extent thanks to the vocals.