Recently, Tomas Lindberg, vocalist for the legendary At The Gates, said this about death metal: “We eventually came to the conclusion that, to us, death metal is not an angry music style. It's really less about aggression than instilling the songs with a twisted madness powerful enough to unsettle and unnerve the listener.” I read that quote and it seemed to me as though he might have just listened to this release from Thou Shall Kill, because that whole part about twisted madness? It's all over this record.
Thou Shall Kill is most definitely an old school death metal band. I feel pretty safe in saying that you will never see any neon colors on their album covers or merch. Whether you are down with European or Floridian death metal, or any other flavor for that matter, these guys have you covered. Listening to this album is like opening the wrong door and discovering you just opened a portal to Hell, and now you're dealing with a room full of demons. This is death metal done right.
These songs are all gems of the genre. Everything is tight, very well written and performed at a high level. There are moments when the entire band is playing in unison, and doing some very cool stuff, as well as moments when it seems that insanity reigns and the listener has trouble keeping up with everything that is going on. I actually pulled out the headphones so I could really listen to how all of the instruments were working together to create this tumult and din of wickedness. If death metal is your thing you really need to hear this album. It will give you hope that there are still bands like this roaming the earth and playing in the true, old ways.
“Weapons of War” is my favorite track on this album. It is so well done, and then the guitar solo is like a fret-melting call across time and space to summon all that is unholy. I listened to it a few times and it feels like its just not right, but in a very good way. With this song playing, if I looked out my window and saw Cthulu hovering in the sky, I would not be surprised. Scared shitless, but not surprised. “Buried Beneath” is an excellent example of how this band works together. The drum fills are really cool and very unique for this style of music. One would expect blast beats and other speedy playing, but instead we get drum parts that fit absolutely perfectly with the song, and again set this band apart as one who knows what they are doing and forging their own path rather than just copying what has gone before. Just brilliant stuff.
I'm a firm believer in supporting what you love, and I heartily endorse this album. There are certainly bigger name bands playing death metal, but you'd be hard pressed to find a band anywhere that plays with a passion and fierceness that shines through like this even when you are listening to a digital file. This is a band that is fully into what they are doing and its easy to get behind that. This is what true death metal sounds like. Open your mind so that you can hear and embrace all that death metal means.