Tuesday 30 May 2017

Review: Thus Defiled – 'A Return To the Shadows'

'A Return To The Shadows'

25 years is an important milestone for any band, no matter how frequently they release albums or if there has been a hiatus in that time. If a band can still come together after a quarter of a century and create great music together, then that is worth celebrating. This is obviously what UK black metal veterans had in mind for their latest EP 'A Return To The Shadows'. Last year saw them condense an impressive legacy into a greatest hits collection, and this year's release see's them revisit some of their favourite cuts from their formative years.

The single original track, 'Armagedda In Rapture', opens the EP in typically bombastic Thus Defiled Fashion. A slow sinister introduction reminiscent of 'Of Shadow And Storm' erupts into a cacophony of searing guitars, blasting drums and demonic vocals which hints at great things to come. Cover song number one sees the band take on 'Evil Dead' by Death which capture the ferocity of the original but filters it through Thus Defiled's own unmistakable style.

Next up is Metallica's 'Creeping Death' with backing vocals provided by Donn Donni of Versprian Sorrow which gives a nice twist to the usual vocal attack employed by the band. A hellacious cover of Morbid Angel's 'Demon Seed' is up next with lead vocals taken up by Mike Browning of Morbid Angel/Nocturnus, which again adds a nice twist to the band's sound. Finally the EP closes with W.A.S.P.'s 'Hellion' which see's the band's attack return tot he thrashier end of their sound but altogether remains on point with the rest of the EP.

In terms of production it's great to see the band re-uniting with 'Daemonspawn' producer Tim Bartlett, who keeps true to the classic Thus Defiled sound. There are one or two points where the guitars seem to swamp the vocals or themselves sound a little muffled. But other than that it's a solid extreme metal sound throughout.

Covers albums/EPs are not to everyone's taste, but this one comes from a good place. To celebrate the music they love with the fans that support them. Dedicated to Chuck Schuldiner (Death), Cliff Burton (Metallica), and of course Grant Saunders (Thus Defiled) it is a heartfelt and passionate release that sees the band on brilliant form  

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