It’s nearly an impossibility to know every band out there, yet sometimes you have to question how you’ve never heard of a band before. Sitting listening to The Oath of an Iron Ritual, the new album from Desaster, I can’t help wonder where the fuck I’ve been for the last seven albums.
Album eight is a great launching off point as it turns out. I’m also going in with no expectations which a slightly rarer treat these days. After a quick intro track, Proclamation in Shadows begins and when the drums kick in properly I’m already sold. Double kick, a filthy guitar tone, it’s the spot on middle ground between black metal and thrash.
Desaster do a good kick in as it turns out, End of Tyranny follows and delivers its own big kick in while The Cleric’s Arcanum follows suit. These songs will be deadly live; there’ll be a brief respite for a breather between songs before the next hastily formed wall of death comes crashing together.
I’ve barely scratched the surface of the riff conversation as well. From the End of Tyranny’s thrash based meat filled intro to the wailing guitar leads of the title track through to the black metal tinged verse riff of Haunting Siren, there’s a surprising amount of genre hopping present.
Lyric video for End of Tyranny
At the Eclipse of Blades is probably the best example of the guitar work on the album with said genre hopping present, and it features my favourite metal staple, the good old fashioned gallop. It’s one of those techniques that never seems to get old, and hearing it in a properly heavy song really gives it oomph.
The seven and a half minute Haunting Siren explores the subgenre camps Desaster have their feet in. It may be my favourite from the album, though the following track, Damnatio Ad Bestias, comes in as a close second.
It’s a genuinely dirty sounding album, only the drums are “clean” and even they aren’t spotless. It gives The Oath of an Iron Ritual a sort of timeless feel. This could be released in 2016, or it could be from the early 90s.
There’s no buggering about. No wasting time on whingey ballads or big melodic build ups, just full steam ahead metal that comes in, kicks the bollocks off you and buggers off before it has anywhere near the chance of outstaying its welcome.
If I’m being honest, the album isn’t exactly breaking the mould, but not every band has to be an innovative powerhouse. When a band can excel at an existing thing, why throw it away to experiment, The Oath of an Iron Ritual is a powerful package and has certainly convinced me to go back and explore the rest of the bands catalogue.
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