Release DetailsLABEL Prosthetic
RELEASED ON 1/23/2007
Year of Desolation
posted on 1/2007 By:
As a child of the 70’s who fell headlong into the first and second waves of 80’s thrash metal, I don’t suffer fools lightly when it comes to the current, more modern practitioners of the style. Do it right, or don’t fucking do it at all. Keep the carbon copy half-baked triplets you throw into every single track, and keep your At The Gates melodies. I’ve had enough of ‘em. Give me something nasty. Give me a band that takes the class of Dew Scented, the seething violence of Malevolent Creation, the technical virtuosity of Testament, and the near-sexual predator ambience of Slayer, wads it up into a ball, ignites it, and throws it in my face at high velocity. Give me the brand new self-titled Year Of Desolation album. Now.
I was really, really skeptical of these guys at first, but it didn’t take long for me to recognize they’re anything but trend hoppers. Not content to merely emulate and imitate with commercial success in mind, Year Of Desolation go to town on the riff action through this album. There is an incredible amount of cohesion through each of the individual tracks, switching up tense staccato with raging, high-speed chugging, and harmonies taken straight from the book of New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. The gruff vocal patterns Chad Zimmerman throws down just beg to be shouted along to, the crabwalking riffs compel headbanging, and the flashy but substantial leads are designed to air guitar your fingers off to. They didn’t reinvent the wheel, but they sure as hell slapped on a sweet set of rims on this ride.
Death metal runs thickly through tracks like the swirling maelstrom of “Suffer Thy Nemesis”, and the guttural but highly melodic “Gorge”, while Iron Maiden influence melds with busy aggressive Megadeth fretwork on “593”, and “Erasing Your Existence”, and “Forged In The Flames Of Malcontent” displays more blisteringly precise, searing thrash with a hulking breakdown and frenzied lead outro. Year Of Desolation runs creative circles around Christ Illusion, The Crusade, and One by Demiricous. It isn’t even close. The riffs stick, don’t sound like I’ve heard them a thousand times before, the songwriting holds strong and shows a high level of versatility and dynamic capabilities, with “Consume The Destroyer” perhaps being the most notable highlight as far as epitomizing the stalking menace of this album. Power isn’t compromised for the sake of nuance, and each note fits perfectly and naturally, unforced, and fresh.
Year Of Desolation is a superb thrash metal band, and for being such a young outfit, they display appealing and already unique personality, and tremendous musical fire. This doesn’t sound retro, taps no extremes for the sake of sonic fury, but also plays nothing safe. Despite the somewhat weak, false ending that concludes the disc in frustratingly open-ended fashion (but still, fantastic musicianship with the acoustics) , Year Of Desolation is one of the strongest early releases for 2007, and an album that, along with Melechesh’s Emissaries, sets the tone for bold thrashing hybrid metal for the year. They came to shred, and shred they do. Pay attention to this band.
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