Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Review: Crest Of Darkness – 'Evil Messiah'

'Evil Messiah'

Celebrating 20 years of black metal mayhem, Crest Of Darkness release three new tracks of satanic extremity plus an Alice Cooper cover on their latest EP 'Evil Messiah'. The band are purveyors of the classic black metal sound of the 90s that spawned the likes of Mayhem, Satyricon, Emperor, Dimmu Borgir and Emperor. Taking a more straightforward attack that pairs the keyboards back compared to a lot of their contemporaries, the trio present a fast and ferocious blend of scathing guitars, thunderous drums and demonic vocals.

The EP kicks off with the title track 'Evil Messiah', which is definitely a statement of intent with its stomping pace and bludgeoning delivery. 'Armageddon' follows with a faster and sleeker style compared to its predecessor pushing the band's technical ability to the fore. 'Abandoned By God' then returns to the bludgeoning attack of the title track to hammer home the point while also showing of some of the finer guitar and keyboard work on the album. The EP is then rounded off by a somewhat camp take on Alice Cooper's 'Sick Things' that sadly drops the ferociousness of the previous three in favour of pantomime theatrics despite some more nice guitar work near the end.

The production is surprisingly good throughout the EP. The temptation for a lot of bands is to try and recapture their initial underground sound, but thankfully Crest Of Darkness and opted for a more modern and polished sound that brings out the best in their sound.

Crest Of Darkness may be obscure, even by black metal standards. However fans of the genre, particularly those of Mayhem, Immortal, Satyricon and early Emperor will definitely dig this. They have an focussed and uncompromising sound that is executed with the kind of skilfulness befitting a band with a 20-year history.  

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