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Skullcrush – Archaic Towers of Annihilation Award winner

Archaic Towers of Annihilation
by "Der Bärtige Mann" Gareth Beams at 07 January 2020, 9:40 PM

SKULLCRUSH return from releasing 2018’s debut EP: "Visions of the Firestorm Eclipse" which was also released via Raw Skull Recordz. The Arizonan Death Metal trio now release their first full-length album. It’s a 35-minute album, will this be 35 minutes of your life you can’t get back, or will it be 35 minutes you wished went on longer? Let’s find out.

Overthrown” starts off with an onslaught in sound from the start, nothing is held back at all. The beat and tempo are hitting every note in style, the vocals are pulling the entire melody together. There are sections in here that will have your head banging and feet tapping along. It changes the pace around, but it is controlled so well in doing so. The good thing about this song is that you can hear how the band could have stopped this midway through, but chose to give us another helping of what we heard inside the first 3 minutes. After the frenzied guitar solo, it slows things down, but the balance and composure rule, so it is contained in the melody we have heard. “Monumental Tomb” picks things off from “Overthrown” but kicks the pace back in instantly. Although it was seeming slower than the fastest sections of the previous song, it shows a lot more control into building the melodies. You also don’t hear too many changes, mainly because it is not as long of a song, so it didn’t need to change, it needed to be released in full power, which it has been. Vocally, it is controlled so well to allow the instrumentalists free to show their talents and create harmonic melodies.

Buried and Forgotten” remains with the composed melodies set out in this album so far. It’s a slower headbanger, but it suits the album so almost peeps into a Doom related sound, but the Guitars keep it in the Death Metal region. The instrumental melodies thrown in here are brilliant, no aspect reigns supreme to another, they work together and slow in perfectly. Its another slow one that you cannot help but to be swayed along with. “Nightmares for the Blind” has picked up the faster paces from the start of the album. The overall pace and tempo has burst new life, the vocals aren’t as fast as the instrumentalists, but the differences in ace works to credit the band. The melodies just work, no matter whether the paly is in the higher or lower sections, blended together and it works a charm

Voice of the Abhorred Dread” brings back the altering chords and slower pace, but you know it is exactly what they wanted it to sound like. It works brilliantly, again. The pace changes up a bit, but the control used to allow just a slight increase to hear the maximum effect works. Re are technical riffs thrown in to allow the slower headbangers to enjoy the artistry once more. The song slows right down at the end, fading out. “Foretoken Punishment” is another well composed song that doesn’t have just one form, it has the speed of Thrash aspects of Death Metal, but a controlled aspect that you would hear from the Gods themselves, DEATH. The song is a longer one, so it changes. It has a few sections which slow things down enough to allow the appreciation of the instrumental melodies in full.

Old School Death Metal, who doesn’t love it? These guys have launched a sound which takes you back to the days when Death Metal was King and the sounds were kicking ass. That’s exactly what this album does. Takes no prisoners. It is absolutely an album that you do not want to end. I could have easily listened to the album with twice as many songs

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Dawn of Sin and Everlasting Torture (Intro)
2. Overthrown
3. Monumental Tomb
4. Buried and Forgotten
5. Halting the Ascension of Corroded Light (Instrumental)
6. Nightmares for the Blind
7. Voice of the Abhorred Dread
8. Foretoken Punishment
John Nigbur – Bass & Vocals
Tony Dunn – Guitar
Alex Brown – Drums
Record Label: Raw Skull Recordz


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