They showed the world kangaroos and dingoes, blessed us with their unbeatable lounge-music cover of Cannibal Corpse's "Rancid Amputation," and have one of the most powerful metal scenes on the plant. Australia is often called "down under" for a good reason: every Aussie is going straight to Hell for having spawned such bands like Destroyer 666 or Razor of Occam and wallowed in their spread of pestilence. While you, oh noble reader, are hopefully familiar with the flesh-ripping madness of Destroyer 666, there lies the overshadowed Assaulter: a black/thrash metal faction featuring former wolf-pack bassist S. Berserker. It would be relatively easy to assume Assaulter's "Salvation Like Destruction" continues the blackened thrash/death metal blitzkrieg that Mr. Berserker originally experienced, yet that is not the full analysis of this record. Assaulter's variety is actually well-established and wonderfully productive within this frontier of flanking the enemy, and they are a worthy ally in Australia's relentless conquest of metallic domination.
"Salvation Like Destruction" takes an alternate point of infiltration instead of just blast beats, shredding at a million miles per second, or other extreme metal techniques; instead, the use of more mid-paced ideas balancing out turbo-charged moments is encouraged and executed. This function, however, leaves a lot of great, unexpected gems to pop up that are typically overlooked. The tempos, although not as rapid or ravenous as you might expect, are more so focused on balancing a fitting equation of smoggy atmosphere, cranium-spiking heaviness, and majestic guitar work, which is the trademark ritual often imposed during Assaulter's ceremonial desecration. These ideas are perhaps a bit unconventional considering the obvious contrast of instrumental use among the black/thrash tribe, but it makes for one killer record when everything falls together.
The riffs, for instance, should be charged by the UN for war crimes, because this is nuclear fire as far as I'm concerned. Assaulter obviously makes a stand behind a thrashy black metal banner, but don't be surprised when heads detach from the neck; these are some of the best riffs the black/thrash mating grounds have to offer. Behemoth-like and dashing, these chops are wonderful pieces of tearing velocity that charge forth with an electric dazzle of thrash and uncharted heaviness with a sense of groove and power when attempting the monumental "Between Gods and Men" as an example. The overall impression is very thrashy guitar work with a bit of blackened madness thrown in for giggles, so I'll warn you just once: expect total f**king genocide.
Remaining sanctums within "Salvation Like Destruction" are also bloody slabs of darkened perfection that would appeal to those with an addiction for destructive terror of such nature. The production is so gritty and raw that the record seriously appears as if it were a collection of demos, but that's what makes everything sound so vibrant and massive. And even though one might be mystified by the riffs, the percussion is commanding through some brilliant fills and addictive technicality without relying on generic short-cuts like constant blasting, which is always a blast of fresh air in this field of identity. Berserker's vocals are aggressive yelps that one should expect in this kind of music and add nothing to bitch about, but in overview, Assaulter is a band of massive musicianship and have nothing left to boast beyond their massacring rampage.
So all in all, Assaulter delivers the goods in a timely and violent fashion throughout "Salvation Like Destruction" just like the ancient prophets foresaw in their unholy visions centuries ago. It is obvious that the Destroyer 666 structure is taking form - keep in mind S. Berserker's former involvement - in and around the world's four corners, but now with a mid-paced, simpler function that lives up to the sound's stellar demeanor. Assaulter, though, is just one kink in a big machine that smolders and churns in the land way down under, and their wonderful debut is definitely something to check out if blackened metal strums a string within the dark abyss of your soul. Thanks Australia!