Title: Archaic Towers of Annihilation
Label: Raw Skullz Records/Redefining Darkness Records
Release date: 13 December 2019
Format reviewed: Digital Promo
You can really tell the agenda of a band when they have a name like SKULLCRUSH. They play a blend of fast and chunky death metal that moves between tempos and layers of distortion on a whim. SKULLCRUSH come to the table with their first full-length release, “Archaic Towers of Annihilation” after an EP last year. The cover art is some awesome fantasy inspired work that reminds me of Minas Morgul or something horrifyingly equivalent. What follows is simple, destructive, and effective as they deliver a relentless barrage of tunes that keep them true to their namesake.
“Dawn of Sin and Everlasting Torture” starts things off with a thick chunky intro that leads directly into “Overthrown”. They limit the unhinged shredding and deliver a mixture of fast and chuggy riffs backed up by dirty crunchy breakdowns. SKULLCRUSH crank the tempo down and descend into deeper waters as we begin to shift to a slower and lower style similar to Morbid Angel and Obituary territory. “Monumental Tomb” starts with a killer riff that kicks down your front door and drags up out by your hair. It also has a much slower pace and features some of my favourite drumming on the album.
“Buried and Forgotten” continues the slow crawling riffs before the transition track “Halting the Ascension of Corroded Light” beams with soft feedback that provides a very brief moment of clarity before the screams and nightmarish voices from the void start to creep back into your mind. “Nightmares for the Blind” has a title that brings up a good question (one that has stuck in my head), as one of the albums best moments drives the song out of the gates and back into a storm of distortion and death.“Voice of the Abhorred Dread” is more of the same but “Foretoken Punishment” ends on a high note as it explodes with drums and guitars to start and ends with another massive tempo change as we drift away in the dying seconds.
If you’re not careful SKULLCRUSH will actually crush your god damn skull! Their riffs are thick and pack a hell of a punch, focusing on short bursts of fury in a mucky swamp of slow tempo devastation. “Archaic Towers of Annihilation” is full of great moments to induce a natural headbang reaction. However on a few songs I feel like they played it too safe with limited solos and simple song structure. On the other hand, if it ain’t broke why fix it? Like I said before: simple, destructive, and effective! This one is pure old school low and slow madness in all its glory. Check them out and embrace the annihilation!. 7.5/10 Metal Yeti
7.5/10 Victory is Possible!
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