Year : 2011
Genre : Thrash Death Hybrid
Label : Massacre Records
Origin : Chile
Rating : 9.0 / 10
Buy it now
With its barebone declaration - ha, ha. - Akelarre, Chile's Criminal delivers quality aural fun through the thrash / death consortium that seems to establish itself as a relevant and super-efficient direction of recent metal music. The first occasion I personally have heard this hybrid sonic rampaging being ruthlessly administered before, was located - and still is, by the way - on Deceased's highly recommended Surreal Overdose, and the similarities in character between that release and this one, are hard to miss, even if you try. Pointing out these similarities is an act one can commit with honest delight though, and here is why : this thrash / death blend demands top of the heat level playfulness and creativity from their creators, because it must (nevertheless ShOULd, all in capitols) exhibit both the melodic aspect of thrash and the massive robustness of death metal. You can't lie and succeed in creating a thrash / death affair, you have to MEAN it, at the VERY least.
Deceased means it with its latest declaration, and it sure as hell is for a pedophile priest that Criminal means it, as well. This record does a great job at revealing the bastard thrash / death Animal with the tools of granite solid, vile riffing and larger than life intensity, intensity that bows to no brake on board. Guys, let's talk about the music.
Criminal, fortunately enough, throws everything but the kitchen sink at you, - but maybe they did that, too? - and they are pretty aware of the current location of your aural attention all the time. Akelarre brings you ten tracks with a very sane - ?? - program length of 41 minutes, and this amount of time guarantees a comfy-, yet not at all self indulgent space to precisely reveal the Thing on. This LP at heart is pissed like an incoming grizzly after a sedation shot, and still keeps a constant focus on its own sonic character, never trading mere heaviness in for elegant variation. Fifth track, called State of Siege is a good example of the primal attractions you can bath in with this rampant release, as this particular song reveals crisp illustrious segments of all the main elements the band is keen to do on the record. Classy, invigorated old school thrash riffage riding on a robust death-ass, and, while you would honestly be all good already with what the band gave you so far, they topple the cake with a SUPERB melodic chorus, and NO, I don't mean metalcore-like whinefests committed to embarrass the generic sky. The chorus architecture brings to mind the chorus of Rainroom's superb opening track on their debut LP, making efficient use of a soul-swallower doomy feeling that is relentlessly carried along on the bastard pauahorse of the thrash / death blend.
The favorite shape of things herein revolves around the epitome of heavy and equally catchy riffing, complimented later on by the clever placement of inventive emphasis throughout the bodies of each build. Solos are included, too, and hell, these are pretty properly presented solos : they are absolutely free of all intent to deliver you a catalog of the wankfest tourist center, and one very pleasant extra thing to recognize is the mere sound of the solo guitar. It is thankfully free both of the effect-wizardry and the over-presence. The solos are situated on one particular primal channel, leaving the other sonic landscape on the other side virtually untouched, and, this way, the riffage remains tight and present in the mix, no problem. As for the sound and shape of the solos, they are truly "proper", do not seek to tear out random minds around, and they are coming in with that pleasantly raw, distorted "default amp" sound known for its classic, angry grit and its haughty determination. You know, the distorted guitar sound you will return to with a relieved sigh when you have checked out the 1111 effects your amp comes with.
Full efficiency-, and mid-tempo engagement modes are elegantly complimented and served on the LP, and there virtually is no time by which you would be harassed to endure the exact same pattern on two successive occasions. One minor qualm to cultivate regarding this tights release is the melodic key some of these raging declarations are reigning in : sometimes, the track that follows the current one up, is in the same melodic key, and they - logically enough, I suppose - both are occupying the same sonic domain, giving you a sense of sonic-domain-abuse, so to speak. (I know I know, this is a mania of mine, but I have some others, too.)
Criminal's Akelarre has a whole lot of quality content to soak your hungry-for-the-extreme ears into, and it is quite safe to say that the release is a risk free recommendation both for the death metal fan, and the thrash metal fan. To be honest, I have no clue what you are doing here still. Go and get the fucking record??
Rating : 9.0 / 10
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