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Master of Cruelty - Archaic Visions of the Underworld

Master of Cruelty
Archaic Visions of the Underworld
by VR at 06 April 2017, 7:22 AM

The country of Paraguay in South America may be an unlikely candidate for a Blackened Death/Thrash Metal band, but it is from this tiny landlocked country that the band MASTER OF CRUELTY hails. The band got together in the year 2009 and a demo was released in the year 2010 called “Impale Thy Crux”. An EP and a split album followed before they released their debut full length album blasphemously named “Spit on the Holy Grail”. The band went about releasing another EP and a couple of split records before releasing their second full-length studio album ”Archaic Visions Of the Underworld”. The band has released the album in vinyl via Blood Harvest Records, while Deathrash Armageddon has released the CD. Evil/Warfuck records will handle the tape release of the album. The cover art of the album is especially doom-like with four skulls guarding a bridge that leads in to an eerie background and it is the work of a highly respected artist called Mark Riddick.

Mortem Prima Lex”, which loosely translates to “Death of the first law” from Latin, is the first song of the album. A 2-minute morose track that feels like an invitation to hell, it is as creepy as a track can get. Eerie whispers set to a haunting melody that one can imagine this is what dead souls get to listen to on their way to damnation. “Archaic Visions of the Underworld” is the next track and it bursts forth almost like Doom Metal track. Growling vocals accompany this track right from the start and the melody moves along lethargically. The track varies in its pace, from deliberate slow lethargic plodding to fast paced frenzied riffs set to rapid pounding drums.“The Executioner” blazes from the beginning with a hurried riff and rasping lead vocals. A thrash Metal song at heart, this track jumps from riff to riff to keep the listener interested. This is the standout song of the album for me and it reminds one of early 80’s music that preceded what eventually became Thrash Metal. “Spheres of Time” has an intensely enjoyable groove riff in the beginning. The riff is heard throughout the track although entwined with hasty riffs. There are plenty of headbang-able riffs throughout the song and it doesn’t let up in intensity. “Mythological Creatures” begins with a vicious riff that is backed by savage double bass drumming before the melody slows down to introduce a thrash riff that would make fans of Metal bob their head ferociously.

The band plays a fusion of styles of Metal music and in most cases they occupy the Death Metal style. The opening song of the album sets the tone stunningly for the rest of the album. A thick, rasping vocal style of singing suits the type of riffs the band plays. There are thrash riffs, break downs and slow doom laden parts that the band infuses in its song structure. The down side of playing such a concoction of different genres of Metal would sometime mean a Thrash hook or a Doom riff, no matter how catchy, won’t be given it’s time in the sun. This does happen on this album constantly. There are moments of pure joy in the riffs but gets pushed aside because the band decided to speed up the melody or add a break down. The only other thing that one could find fault is the production value of the record. I hope that by the time they record, this prolific band will have a sound that is worth their talent.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 5

3 Star Rating

1. Mortem Prima Lex
2. Archaic Visions of the Underworld
3. The Executioner
4. Spheres of Time
5. Our Endless Wrath
6. Perpetual Deadly Hollows
7. Mythological Creatures
8. Knowledge beyond This Dimension
A.G.V - Vocals, Guitars (lead)
W.Impaler - Guitars (Rhythm)
The Vandalic - Drums
Vomitor - Bass
Record Label: Blood Harvest Records


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