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Desaster - The Oath Of An Iron Ritual Review

by Matt Hensch

Chances are blasphemy fanatics will not find themselves shocked at the sound of Satanic chaos emitting from yet another Desaster opus drenched in black/thrash metal blood. Pilgrims following the German syndicate over the years will agree that there have been few anomalies found on the quality spectrum, and surely Desaster's later albums are surprisingly excellent. "The Oath of an Iron Ritual" manages to trample even the last few Desaster albums, which were outstanding, by sticking to the known rites of profane beatings that are cornerstones to these arts of destruction. It's impossible to disavow a group for releasing more of the same when their brand of regularity flattens the herd.

"The Oath of an Iron Ritual" makes a case to be one of Desaster's more adventurous efforts, although the essentials are nailed down as expected. Huge spoiler: mournful female vocals and breakdowns have not yet been introduced into the Desaster paradigm. Instead, they've once again stuck to the black/thrash metal agenda, which still has the riffs and pulverization to remove your spine via your poop chute in a fluid motion, but with a few instances of exploring the corners of their sound. "Haunting Siren," for instance, is an intense requiem of black metal running through multiple layers and parts that are somber and lamenting. It is an unusual song, but nonetheless satisfying. "The Denial" and "At the Eclipse of Blades" also manage to mirror similar themes, running up unfamiliar amounts of time and charging through more coatings than what Desaster's last few records offered-ignoring "Possessed and Defiled," of course.

While these tracks are excellent, Desaster's true strength comes from throwing down beastly black/thrash metal rampages that are just a swing away from bringing a demonic axe to an angelic dome. "Conquer & Contaminate" rattles and throttles between thrashing madness and black metal ruptures with the precision of a razor-sharp carving. The title track kills it, sticking to a roiling mid-paced assault and periodically shifting into a raucous Motorhead-ish bridge. Sataniac sounds awesome spitting venom over a bulldozing bass and the plentiful vault of black/thrash metal riffs this band has no trouble accessing. "The Oath of an Iron Ritual," sturdy as it is, may be one of their best albums.

Desaster - The Oath Of An Iron Ritual


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