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Gallows Rites - Witchcraft and Necro Desecration Award winner

Gallows Rites
Witchcraft and Necro Desecration
by Abdoul Hakeem Mbacke at 23 May 2023, 8:59 AM

Get ready for a wild ride around the nine circles of Hell!  The black metal genre has a long history of being blasphemous, and GALLOWS RITES does not disappoint at all.  They are a four-piece band that formed in 2020, which means they are relatively recent.  Hailing from the mostly Catholic nation of Portugal, GALLOWS RITES plays a mixture of black and thrash metal–also known as blackened thrash–that screams loud and clear "ave satanas" (Latin for "hail Satan").  "Witchcraft and Necro Desecration" is the band's debut EP and was released on May 19th, 2023.  Dark, relentless, and anything but holy, it is a beautiful piece of blackened thrash metal that will leave every Christian stunned.

Let's start with the EP's first track "Satanik Night." From the start, GALLOWS RITES cuts straight to the point: they believe in Satan and completely reject the idea of God or the Trinity.  The Dreadful's shrieking vocals, completely devoid of any cleanliness, emphasizes the group's unholy beliefs.  The amazing guitar work of Evil Slaughter, coupled with Hellkrätus's impeccable drumming skills, creates the aggressive sound that thrash metal fans will recognize and love.  Unlike in some other typical black metal bands, there are rarely any slow moments in the four-piece band's relentlessly fast tempo.  The opening track is clearly designed to grab the attention of anybody who dares to give this EP an ear.

After establishing the Satanic theme that is so prevalent in this genre, GALLOWS RITES takes us into the realm of witchcraft, occultism, and necromancy.  The method in which the guitars, drums, and harsh vocals coalesce in the new few songs, including the title track, reminded me of the German black metal band MYSTIC CIRCLE's self-titled album released in 2022.  The constant blast beats and The Dreadful's intermittent screams in between verses will send hellish chills down your spine. Another aspect of the album that I found interesting was the occasional use of audio clips, one used in the title track, and another used in the EP's closing track "Gallows Rites." The title track's audio clip is in a foreign language (most likely Portuguese or Latin) and sounds like a woman performing sorcery or invoking Satan himself.  The second clip–significantly longer and more haunting–involves women renouncing God and pledging loyalty to the Devil, calling him their "lord and master." While some listeners may not enjoy audio in songs, the two clips are properly incorporated into GALLOWS RITES's work with the production of Helldprod Records, dispelling any doubts as to whether or not the band is truly Satanic.

"Witchcraft and Necro Desecration" is a beautifully dark piece of art conjured forth by GALLOWS RITESThe Dreadful's vocals are arguably unintelligible and, at times, drowned out by the intense drumming and guitar shredding of Hellkrätus and Evil Slaughter respectively.  However, it is no surprise that Sordidus's bass can barely be heard, since bass muting is fundamental in black metal.  Flaws aside, this EP is 22 unholy minutes of pure anti-Christian blasphemy from beginning to end.  Since this is the first record we're hearing from the three-year-old Portuguese black-thrash group, there is definitely room for the four men to evolve.  At the end of the day, "Witchcraft and Necro Desecration" is a masterpiece made to offend the most religious Christians and bring the Devil to fiery tears of joy.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Satanik Night
2. Witches Curse
3. Witchcraft and Necro Desecration
4. Unholy Sorcery
5. Gallows Rites
Sordidus – Bass
Evil Slaughter – Guitars
Hellkrätus – Drums
The Dreadful – Vocals
Record Label: Hellprod Records


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Edited 09 June 2023

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