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Desaster “The Arts of Destruction”

Desaster - The Arts of DestructionSo this was the first album I got to review that I’ve genuinely liked.  These guys are true to their genre, don’t take themselves too seriously and deliver some excellent blackened thrash.  The only negative things I can say about this album is that there are a few tracks that aren’t nearly as good as the others on the album, for a thrash record there aren’t any solos worth mentioning and the lyrics are a bit weak.

The Art of Destruction sets the stage for the rest of the album perfectly – a dark, thrashy onslaught.  No pretention, no gimmicks, just pure blackened thrash.

Lacerate (With Rans of Doom) picks up right where the intro track leaves off.  Awesome shredding leads to more old-fashioned thrash.  What the hell is a “rans”?

The Splendour of the Idols is a fucking awesome song.  It starts off slow and builds into an assault punctuated by a sludgy breakdown, rising again into some violence-inducing shred thrashing and thrash shredding.  Did I mention that these guys both shred and thrash?  This is an easy favorite.

Phantom Funeral is the only outlier to an otherwise fantastic album.  This song’s timing is a bit off and is in stark contrast to the rest of the tracks.  The riffs just aren’t up to snuff and the rest of it is just some uninspired tremolo picking.  I’d also like to know why someone is having a funeral for a phantom.  Or maybe it’s an illusory funeral – you think it’s there, look away, look back and it’s gone!  Phantom.

Queens of Sodomy isn’t a great song, but it’s not an awful song.  It really picks up about half way through after he proclaims “C’mon you suckers, for the devil we will bang you out!”.  What an insult!  This track also features the first guitar solo of the album.  It’s not the 1,000 kmph solo I’d expect in such a thrash masterpiece, but it’s fitting for the tempo.

At Hell’s Horizon returns to the thrashy goodness of the first couple tracks – the kind that gets the metal in your blood moving; even if you’re anemic.

Troops of Heathens, Graves of Saints is another phenominal song.   Another one that makes you want to get up and move.  I really gotta see these guys live sometime, I bet their pits are the stuff of legend.

Possessed and Defiled starts off with a lower tempo instrumental introduction that somehow fits very well on this album.  It picks up about halfway through into an old-school black metal (think Venom) style tune and then ocillates for the rest of the track.  It’s a great homage to Desaster’s roots.  This is my second favorite tune on this record.

Beyond Your Grace skillfully punctuates the meat of the album with a relentless metal assault.

All in all, this is a fantastic offering.  It’s not quite perfect, but it’s up there with some of the best thrash I’ve ever heard.

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