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Cruentator - Ain't War Hell? Award winner

Ain't War Hell?
by Jason “Monotonija” McCraw at 23 February 2018, 9:46 PM

Hold on to your hats for this one, folks!..

Thrashers CRUENTATOR burst into the new year with a mind-bending assault on the senses in their relentlessly terroristic full-length entitled "Ain't War Hell?". With influences ranging from "South Of Heaven"-era SLAYER, Texas ferocious Black Metallers SARDONIC WITCHERY, industrial metal-era MINISTRY, and SADUS (just to name a few), CRUENTATOR bring their own brand of wicked Thrash to the forefront with a war themed concept album that just does not let up for one second. If you are looking for the heaviest of the heavy, then look no further, for this is where your search will end.

From the opening bell, "Ain't War Hell?" begins raining nonstop haymaker punches upon the listener's ears. The opening track, "Merciless Extermination", says it all in its name: these guys are out to kill, and they will do so without mercy. I'm not quite sure that Riccardo, the band's drummer, is even human. Precise pounding and hammering percussion that never lets up sets the stage for drilling staccato guitar riffs, while the vocals of singer Ambro eject musical gravel across the track with the speed of an auctioneer who is having a really, really bad day. The war theme is instantly apparent in the dark and edgy lyrics, which speak of death, devastation, and a veritable nuclear holocaust. Assuredly not for the faint of heart, "Ain't War Hell?" grabs hold instantaneously, and immediately defines itself as a force to be reckoned with.

The album chugs along at breakneck speed, always furiously fast, and always as terrifying and unwavering as war itself. Tracks two, three, and four ("Tyrants Of The Wasteland", "Barbaric Violence", and "Evil Is Prowling Around", respectively), seem more like small yet complex movements in an entire musical opus, rather than the individual tracks that they truly are. The rhythm and lead guitars compliment each other perfectly, while, at times, the bass does a low-end dance that seems to be stuck on fast-forward. There is talent here, and that talent is projected in CRUENTATOR’s ability to create fever-pitched thrashing Speed Metal that harbours an intensity that rivals that of many (if not all) of their predecessors.

The record's fifth entry, "The Nightstalker", strays into new territory, switching the gears for a few minutes as far as the subject matter is concerned. The music, however, suffers no ill effects from this minute departure. While the storyline is temporarily altered, the battlefield on which it is presented remains in full view. CRUENTATOR stays true to their original sound and intent throughout the duration of the album. Their grinding Thrash machine never running out of juice as the music continues to imitate the chaos and death associated with war through its artistic representation.

Track seven, "The Shining Hate", reigns supreme in this listener's opinion. This one is undoubtedly an anthem for thrashers to revel in the world over. Although the album never delves into uncharted realms that could denote any type of fusion or crossover in style, it is still endlessly engaging and fascinating as a true Thrash M etal record. This is a feat that many a band/artist seems to have trouble achieving, as staying strictly within the limits of one style while keeping the listener attentive and satisfied usually proves impossible. With CRUENTATOR, there is no such thing as impossible. This is quite literally a true Thrash Metal masterpiece!

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 10
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Merciless Extermination
2. Tyrants Of The Wasteland
3. Barbaric Violence
4. Evil Is Prowling Around
5. The Nightstalker
6. Marching Into A Minefield
7. The Shining Hate
8. Cluster Terror
Riccardo - Drums
Ambro  - Vocals
Omar - Guitars
Vanny - Bass
Massi FD - Guitars
Record Label: Xtreem Music


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