As noted in our recent review of their debut hometown gig last month, Rex Shachath, as an entity, may be a new name to many but, individually, the various members are highly experienced and veterans of several stalwarts of the Belfast scene, such as Overoth and Condemned. And, just as that experienced manifested itself in a tight and impressive live appearance, so it transfers effortlessly to this excellent debut album.
The band – who take their name from a combination of the Latin for ‘king’ and the old Hebrew for ‘to corrupt, destroy’ – have a very simple mission statement… to give rebirth to the style of old school death metal which has been criminally subsumed in recent years by the desire of more and more bands to go down the progressive and technical routes. And it is a mission in which they succeed more than admirably, as the five tracks (six if you count the suitably apocalyptic nihilism of the opening ‘Intro’) on this debut mini-album truly are standard bearers for the traditional DM genre.
Tackling traditional genre subjects but giving them a suitably Northern Ireland specific twist – ‘Follow The Bastard Prophet’, for example, could be seen as a vicious attack on the minority Christian Caleban who dominate every aspect of life in this wee country, and ‘Blind From Birth’ is a stirring condemnation of the naked sectarianism which is bred into children before they even leave the womb – vocalist Dave delivers his lyrics with a venomous aplomb reminiscent of Corpsegrinder or a pissed-off Tom Warrior, while the rest of the band are equally hard-hitting and proficient.
The twin guitar attack of Andrew (an unassuming but influential character in the Norn Iron metal market, as he also plays in Overoth as well as owning ‘Molten’ magazine and running his own PR company) and Franky deliver volley-upon-volley of carnage-inducing, neckbreaking riffs, supported by short, stabbing and highly effective solo interludes, while the rhythm section of Eddie and Jay back everything up in a style that makes Operation Shock And Awe or whatever-the-feck it was called look like a kiddies’ sparkler on Halloween night.
Brutally brilliant stuff, and fully deserving of 9.5/10.
Check out our exclusive interview with Andrew and Dave from Rex Shachath here: http://planetmosh.com/interview-with-andrew-and-dave-of-rex-shachath-voodoo-belfast-friday-september-7th/
‘Sepulchral Torment’ is out now on Hostile Media and is available by clicking the Amazon link below.
Rex Shachath are currently tearing through their debut GB tour, with the remaining dates as follows:
October 3rd – Scruffy Murphy’s, Birmingham (with Overoth and Necrotize)
October 4th – The Croft, Bristol (with Overoth and Necrotize)
October 5th – Alton Live Lounge, Alton (with Bloodshot Dawn & Flayed Disciple, FuryBorn and Overoth)
October 7th – Bogiez, Cardiff (with Overoth and Necrotize)
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