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Recently, Tomas Lindberg,
vocalist for the legendary At The Gates, said this about death metal:
“We eventually came to the conclusion that, to us, death metal is not an angry
music style. It's really less about aggression than instilling the songs with a
twisted madness powerful enough to unsettle and unnerve the listener.” I read
that quote and it seemed to me as though he might have just listened to this
release from Thou Shall Kill, because that whole part about twisted
madness? It's all over this record.
Thou Shall Kill is most
definitely an old school death metal band. I feel pretty safe in saying that
you will never see any neon colors on their album covers or merch. Whether you
are down with European or Floridian death metal, or any other flavor for that
matter, these guys have you covered. Listening to this album is like opening
the wrong door and discovering you just opened a portal to Hell, and now you're
dealing with a room full of demons. This is death metal done right.
These songs are all gems of the
genre. Everything is tight, very well written and performed at a high level.
There are moments when the entire band is playing in unison, and doing some
very cool stuff, as well as moments when it seems that insanity reigns and the
listener has trouble keeping up with everything that is going on. I actually
pulled out the headphones so I could really listen to how all of the
instruments were working together to create this tumult and din of wickedness.
If death metal is your thing you really need to hear this album. It will give
you hope that there are still bands like this roaming the earth and playing in
the true, old ways.
“Weapons of War” is my favorite
track on this album. It is so well done, and then the guitar solo is like a
fret-melting call across time and space to summon all that is unholy. I
listened to it a few times and it feels like its just not right, but in a very
good way. With this song playing, if I looked out my window and saw Cthulu
hovering in the sky, I would not be surprised. Scared shitless, but not
surprised. “Buried Beneath” is an excellent example of how this band works
together. The drum fills are really cool and very unique for this style of
music. One would expect blast beats and other speedy playing, but instead we
get drum parts that fit absolutely perfectly with the song, and again set this
band apart as one who knows what they are doing and forging their own path
rather than just copying what has gone before. Just brilliant stuff.
I'm a firm believer in
supporting what you love, and I heartily endorse this album. There are
certainly bigger name bands playing death metal, but you'd be hard pressed to
find a band anywhere that plays with a passion and fierceness that shines
through like this even when you are listening to a digital file. This is a band
that is fully into what they are doing and its easy to get behind that. This is
what true death metal sounds like. Open your mind so that you can hear and
embrace all that death metal means.