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'The Oath Of An Iron Ritual'
(Metal Blade Records)

jools green

Jools Green


Desaster, the German maestros of Black 'n' Thrash, are back with yet another masterpiece, full length number eight 'The Oath Of An Iron Ritual' and I am stoked because it is, as I hoped it would be, an absolute face ripper!!

This long awaited follow up to 2012s superb album 'The Arts Of Destruction' continues in their addictively crushing style as an unrelenting onslaught that spans forty-seven, fully filled minutes.

There is a brief intro, a fifty second haunting noise-scape with distant wailing voices setting the scene before the assault begins, then its huge waves of repeat riffs, pummelling drums and Sataniac's unique and hugely expressive vocal delivery; his voice really is the finishing touch that makes a good track great.

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Sound-wise Desaster keep it straightforward, relying on swathes of catchy repeat riffs to dominate and form the main body of the tracks, with well placed tempo drops and direction switches, but that's not to say there aren't any "WOW!" moments; there are plenty.

Sudden drum flourishes on the straightforward but addictive 'End Of Tyranny' or 'The Cleric's Arcanum' which opens on a tolling bell and where Sataniac delivers his most evil laugh, the tempo drops and assumes a groovy feel, before totally surprising you with a breakneck shred and there's plenty of shredding too. The dark and intense 'Conquer And Contaminate' opens on a blinder with a second helping midway through along with great military drum work.


Also ticking all the boxes for me is title track 'The Oath Of An Iron Ritual'. It's uptempo from the offset and I love the off kilter, squealing lead work, coasting over the steady, repeat riff which elevates to a gallop midway, nice steps up and down to the tempo, add to that a few drum flourishes, a few more manic laughs and deranged screams and slip in a few sleazy bass lines and you have a superb track.

There are a couple of complex tracks, both of which exceed the seven minute mark and both repeatedly fool you into thinking they are about to end before suddenly ramping up the pace again; the superb 'Haunting Siren', awash very intense blackened riffing, giving a dark haunting quality along with intense delivery of the riffs, superbly varied drum work and broad ranging vocal delivery, yells moans and growls, slick tempo and direction switching and a couple of slower deliberating segments with tortuous spoken passages

Final track 'At The Eclipse Of Blades' which has a dark sleazy groove to the opening repeat but develops a very blackened edge as the tempo elevates and again with the drop away, with spoken segments and folk edged guitar work, returning to that groovy repeat accompanied by pummelling drums before returning again to the dark intense riffs.

'The Oath Of An Iron Ritual' is yet another superb album from Desaster which anyone with an interest in Black 'n' Thrash, or just great Metal, will love.

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