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Thou Shalt Not – Sanctuary Of The Vile

Thou Shalt Not
Sanctuary Of The Vile
by Savely Nevzorov at 12 May 2022, 4:23 PM

THOU SHALT NOT is an American death metal band that has been active since 2003. Throughout what turned out to be almost 20 years of existence the band has only put out a series of demo records and a couple of EPs. Their new record called "Sanctuary Of The Vile" released via Canadian CDN Records is their third and the most recent extended play album. It consists of six tracks of blackened death metal with an anti-Christian attitude.

THOU SHALT NOT is not trying to reinvent the wheel, but rather prefers to play within the rules set by the pioneers of the genre. You may hear subtle references to MORBID ANGEL in “Cleansing the Decay with Blasphemy”, or DEÏCIDE-like parts in “Will of Infinite Strength”. Periodically, “Sanctuary of the Vile” lightly flirts with black metal. My personal favorite – the song “Witches Among Us” – is played in a dark and dissonant manner that every black metal fan will find familiar. Such little winks towards black metal, perhaps, are the most notable incrustations THOU SHALT NOT add to otherwise a pretty standard death metal. There is nothing on this EP that you have not previously heard from such pillars of the genre as IMMOLATION or DEATH. However, this should not be taken as an unequivocal disadvantage because the musicians still manage to produce high-quality music that pumps when it should pump despite working with a formula that has been established long time ago. Perhaps, this album as a whole is yet another confirmation of a well-known axiom that says that there’s no need to fix what isn’t broken.

I would like to scold THOU SHALT NOT a little for choosing EP over a long play. I agree that short releases are generally well suited for the modern fast pace of life. However, it would be interesting to see if the musicians can sustain the given tone and tempo for more than 20 minutes. For a band that will soon celebrate its two-decade anniversary releasing an LP would be a move of honor. However, in the case of “Sanctum of the Vile”, its short duration is compensated by the density of events. The album is full of dark and ominous guitar riffs that will appeal to every fan of the genre. At the end of the day, does it matter if a riff reminds you of something you heard before if it still sounds great? THOU SHALT NOT does not offer something unprecedented, but the high class of musicians is immediately audible. With that being said, if you've been missing some blasphemous satanic death metal in your life lately, I would most definitely recommend checking out “Sanctuary of the Vile”.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. The Hooded Ones
2. Witches Among Us
3. Sanctuary of the Vile
4. Will of Infinite Strength
5. Cleansing the Decay with Blasphemy
6. Swine You Are
Don Wolff – Guitars, Vocals, Bass
Van McGhee – Drums
Jesse Greenfeather - Bass
Record Label: CDN Records


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Edited 10 December 2022

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