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Germany's Desaster always were a reliable force steadily blessing the metal world with a solid slab of extremity right between thrash and black metal. This their eight studio album 'The Oath of an Iron Ritual' is as expected no different. The music still moves smoothly in the border regions of thrash and black metal in the vein of Nifelheim and Aura Noir without ever stepping out of the comfort zone.
Admittedly, this particular genre leaves small room for experimentation and if you are the least familiar with Desaster or the other two aforementioned acts you know perfectly well what to expect. Dirty, primitive riffs on top of ferocious drumming moving smoothly between mid- and up-tempo with Sataniac's vomiting growls delivering messages of darkness and destruction. Closing one's eyes gives the image of music being delivered by an eight foot demon dressed in a rancid patch vest, spikes and nails with stripy black hair armed with the breath of your grandma.
But lack of surprises does not necessarily mean a bad album. Desaster have always been one of the more solid acts of the black/thrash genre and 'The Oath of an Iron Ritual' is certainly no exception. The band has once again found a bunch of toxic riffs and lethal arrangements from the deepest pits of hell. If there is one element that feels slightly out of place at first it is the rather clean production. The music inside is as rancid and filthy as ever, but when presented in a neat giftwrap it takes the extra spin or two to make everything fall into place.
All in all, expect nothing new, but expect something good. Desaster are once again proving to the world that the essence of metal is primitive, dirty and rotten. Friends of pomp and extravaganza beware.
also review of: Angelwhore