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Annihilationmancer - Precursor Of Destruction

Precursor Of Destruction
by Sammy M at 10 July 2016, 8:33 PM

Before checking out this EP, I had never heard of ANNIHILATIONMANCER before, so when I saw the beyond bizarre band name, along with the absurd song titles of the first two tracks, I didn’t entirely know what to expect. I was almost expecting a joke. But there is absolutely nothing to joke about once you hear anything from the absolutely brilliant musician, Bruno Masulli. He pulls a triple duty handling the vocals, guitar, and bass, on an extremely technical throwback EP which feel like it’s been ripped directly out of the beginnings of thrash metal.

When the first track started, I had to make sure I wasn’t listening to some long lost MEGADETH song, as everything about ANNIHILATIONMANCER is eerily similar to much of what MEGADETH was in the early days. From the amazingly technical and flashy guitar work, to the crash heavy drums, and right down to the vocals which seriously had me confused as to why I was hearing Dave Mustaine’s voice coming out of a different person. You could also draw similarities to early METALLICA, as you could to many early thrash bands, but from beginning to end of this five track EP, I was feeling a great sense of nostalgia from when I first discovered MEGADETH so long ago, a band which I will always hold in high regard for being the band that introduced me to thrash. So as a result, I greatly appreciated the work of ANNIHILATIONMANCER.

The band was created in the mid 90’s by Bruno Masulli, and he has remained the only constant throughout all those years. However he has proven that he is all that is needed, with his incredible skill on everything he does. The first two tracks, as I mentioned earlier with their strange titles “Unpunished Massacre Messiah”, and “Impoverishment God Existence”, are the strongest tracks on the EP, as they are the most classic thrash and show us exactly what ANNIHILATIONMANCER is all about. While the recording quality is average at best, this is to be expected from thrash, especially thrash that seems hell-bent on recreating the sound that you would have expected to hear in the 1980s. Therefore it suits the music, and never gets in the way of hearing the complexity of each instrument. It adds a kind of “tinny” quality to it that almost makes thrash what it is. It’s not a genre that you’d expect to sound overly polished or clean, so ANNIHILATIONMANCER gives you exactly what you’d expect, and exactly what you’d want if you’re a fan of thrash.

As is often the case with an EP, there simply isn’t enough of it, and often at least half of the EP is made up of songs that feel unneeded. This is very much the same here as “Sentence Of War” feels a little uninspired, and the cover of “Tormentor” by KREATOR is honestly just weird. Bruno Masulli is clearly a great musician, and a pretty cool vocalist, but his vocals on this track don’t suit him as it’s a phlegmy sounding growl instead of his usual epic style. As always, he shines on guitar, but it seems like a strange choice for a cover and just doesn’t suit his vocal style.

“Precursor of Destruction” is a good EP, with two amazing tracks, one good track, and two which feel like they don’t quite belong. However because of those first three tracks, I personally am tracking down a copy of the full length album “The Involution Philosophy” right now, as ANNIHILATIONMANCER have certainly proven that there is still a place for classic thrash, and that they know exactly how to do it. With this EP, they absolutely deserve to make new fans, and I truly hope that we get another full length album at some point in the future.

Songwriting: 7/10
Originality: 6/10
Memorability: 8/10
Production: 4/10


3 Star Rating

01. Unpunished Massacre Messiah
02. Impoverishment God Existence
03. Failed Creation
04. Sentence Of War
05. Tormentor (Kreator cover)
Bruno Masulli – Vocals/Guitar/Bass
Record Label: Pure Underground Records


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