Assaulter - Boundless Review
by Matt Hensch
Make sure "Boundless" cools before hearing; contents are hotter than Hell!
Assaulter hails from the savage, forsaken land of Australia like their blood brethren Destroyer 666, with whom they share a similar blueprint, at least in terms of schematics. Assaulter's rampage throughout "Boundless" is heavily inspired by old-school thrash legends like Kreator or Sodom, yet still boiling into black metal territory; the alloy is nothing short of immaculate. The three-piece's barrage shines valorously, with what the nihilistic explosion being based on frantic riffs, pounding percussion, slashing solos, and a haymaker of destructive power that will make metal fans drool and the weak tremble in fear. The band's bombing riffs shred like a machete ripping through tall grass, and I'm quite convinced Assaulter will put unsuspecting listeners in coffins. Thank Satan I've been a fan since "Salvation like Destruction," so I at least walked away alive.
That said, "Boundless" moves on a nomadic frontier that blackened thrash metal really hasn't explored up to this point, experimenting with middle-eastern melodies and unusual musical techniques – or lack thereof, as there are no blast beats whatsoever, for instance – often absent in similar groups. The thrashy "Entrance" introduces this addictive texture right from the initiation, exploiting the listener to a plethora of cracking instrumentality and thrashing riffs adding fuel to the growing fire. "Outshine," despite its odd title, immediately slices the jugular with chopping riffs ala Kreator or Destruction that soon dissolve into mid-paced shelling that Assaulter demonstrated on its gritty debut, but now given sharpened corners through Metal Blade's atypical choice to flavor the album in raw production.
The riffing structures, repetition patterns, and puzzling leads are really outlandish compared to the other followers of the blackened thrash religion, a signature trait of Assaulter's bloodline which pumps the blackest of blood throughout "Boundless" in a variety of speeds, tempos, and attitudes that are both appealing and deadly. It seems the love for "Boundless" never stops once the raging onslaught begins. The riffs are great, the songs are masterfully written, the production mean and nasty, the atmosphere impeccable, the solos smoldering with magma; it's one of those records that has no limitations. The album's remaining qualities are equally impressive, with S. Berserker's toxic rasps corroding the instrumental skin while Peter Hunt goes to town as the band's percussionist, another incredible feat this group can boast.
"Into Submission" and "The Great Subterfuge" process significant trademarks of the Assaulter banner through the former's thrashing leads and abrasive melodies and the record's only eight-minute montage of blackened metal refusing to release its epic vice grip; both are a blast, although the whole album is a sensational listen from start to finish. The band's variety emerges through its ruthless attack like a spear ripping flesh, and Assaulter has no remorse for the acidic discharge the three-piece expels on its defenseless listeners. "Boundless" will tie you to the ground and break every bone in your face with its volatile, explosive, unrelenting storm of slaughtering riffs which ravenously gnaw and grind like a wolverine's incisors...you really can't ask for more in a metal CD.
Assaulter - Boundless
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