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Thanatos – Violent Death Rituals

Violent Death Rituals
by Der Bärtige Mann" Gareth Beams at 11 March 2020, 7:45 AM

Not to be confused with the other 8 bands named THANATOS (1 * American - Thrash Metal, 1 * Portuguese - Death Metal, 1 * Polish - Thrash/Death Metal, 1 * French - Black Metal, 1 * French - Death/Thrash Metal, 1 * Canadian = Progressive Death Metal, 1 - * Austrian Death/Black Metal).

These guys are famous for being the first Dutch extreme music/metal band. They split up in 1992. Reformed by the founding member Stephan Gebédi in 1999 with a different line-up. They released two Full-Length albums (Emerging from the Netherworlds and Realm of Ecstacy) as well as six demos and two live albums before the 1999 split.  Since 99 they have released a further five, including this, Full-Length albums (Angelic Encounters (, Undead. Unholy. Divine (, Justified Genocide (, Global Purification (, three EP’s (Beyond Terror, The Burning of Sodom / …and Jesus Wept, Blind Obedience/Thanatos), one Box set (Thanatos Boxed Set), one Compilation (Thanatology: Terror from the Vault) and a split with ASPHYX (Imperial Anthems No. 7)

Violent Death Rituals” starts the album with a progressing start, building up the tempo. The song seems like it could kick in at any moment, but passing the one-minute mark it also feels like it could be a slow burner, like an into to the album. The technical play does build up the pace nicely, will out going full throttle. It’s a good song to start off, showing signs of balance and composure within the buildup. The vocals are crisp, aggressive and to the point. It’s a solid band effort, the melodies run fluidly, and progress the song through certain motions nicely.

The Silent War” kicks off where “Violent Death Rituals” left. The pace is set to more of a Thrash Metal pace, and the guitar licks match that. This song has less of a buildup, but the balance is kept in tune really well. The sound is one of several genres mashed into one, but the sound works, it feels like a unique sound. Although many elements from the sound can be traced to how other bands sound, the sound of the song seems to have just used them as inspiration in creating its own sound. The vocals are once again clear, crisp and aggressive. Musically the band are that in sync it is flawless.

Unholy Predators” keeps up the pace that has been set thus far. The pulsating beat kicking us off is seemingly working towards a big outburst. The vocals are added, but do not have the same aggression we have heard before. The pace has been changed to a progressive beat, steadily ticking away. It no longer feels like the song will explode into life, there are a few nice guitar sections, but overall feels held back.

The Outer Darkness” continues the pace left off from “Unholy Predators”, it feels like it is also progressing through the motions. There is a breakdown within the first 90 seconds that causes the beat to be able to reset and speed things up. It is a step in the right direction, but not enough changes, no real additional elements that we have not heard already. However, it is still a good song.

Burn the Books of Hate” has the same elements as the last few song, keeping the pace set lower than the start of the album. There is less aggression than before, but they are keeping composure and balance in order. The song ticks over in the same way as the others, however this one does include a scream at the end to stir things up a bit.

It Always Ends in Blood” takes the pace up a gear, not fully unleashing a Thrash pace, but it has changed the sound of the album overall just a bit. There are more technical play aspects here added and it makes for a welcomed change. This could act a change in the album, hopefully they expand on this song. It has enough aggression and experimental elements to stir up the overall feel.

Corporate Indoctrination” feels thicker, heavier, better. It starts off well, but instantly takes the pace off just slightly. The pace soon returns and adds a further aggression that we have not heard since the start of the album. This is certainly a head banger. This is exactly what the album needed, a kick in the balls to start the aggression again. Its like if TOXIC HOLOCAUST mixed things up with a MEGADETH beat and threw it together.

Sent from Hell (I Infidel)” keeps up the pace to start off with in the progressive intro. The beat keeps ticking over nicely. The song is going through the motions well and seemingly taking the end of the album into a high pace set down by the last few songs, this is a good thing. They seem to get a note of something and ride it out for a while, not massively experimental, but it is still good.

Legacy of the Gods” has slowed things down slightly, but keeps the gears set midway through the pace. The song ticks over nicely and seeming brings back some of the jaded aggression. The song is building within itself, but never seems to take the gamble to explode or expand the sound. It’s a good song, but it is nothing we have not heard before. At least they kept up the rejuvenated intensity until the end.

As the Cannons Fade” has slowed things down a lot, which goes against what they were seemingly doing  with the last few songs, keeping up the pace for a strong finish. The pace is gradually picking, but the aggression has left the building. The song sounds a bit stale and could have gone in several directions to change this, but did not. Not the strongest close to an album, but I’ve heard worse.

It’s a mix of styles in segments. There is plenty to enjoy, but frustrating with the lack of experimentalisms. It is not a bad album at all and will go well with a few other Death Thrash songs in a playlist, so add them and enjoy

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Violent Death Rituals
2. The Silent War
3. Unholy Predators
4. The Outer Darkness
5. Burn the Books of Hate
6. It Always Ends in Blood
7. Corporate Indoctrination
8. Sent from Hell (I Infidel)
9. Legacy of the Gods
10. As the Cannons Fade
Stephan Gebédi – Vocals & Guitars
Mous Mirer – Bass Guitar
Paul Baayens – Guitars
Martin Ooms – Drums
Record Label: Listenable Records


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