Recorded at Cosmos Studios and Studio Royale, Stockholm, Sweden, January and February 2010. Additional recordings at Satanic Slaughterhouse Studios, Södermalm, Stockholm, Sweden. Mixed at Cosmos Studios. Mastered at The Tool Shed. Released on Pulverised Records, 2010.
Encyclopaedia Metallum categorises Crucifyre as genre: death metal, lyrical themes: Satan. So, Satanic death metal. You don’t say! You just have to read the song titles to get that.
The term ‘black metal’ was originally a synonym for satanic metal, but this isn’t quite what I would categorise as traditional black metal. Obviously, as a Christian I have a particular opinion on the lyrical content, but the question is really whether they really are Satanists or whether it’s for artistic effect, like early Slayer albums.
Musically, Crucifyre have a lot in common with pioneering thrash bands such as Slayer, Kreator, more so than a lot of death metal albums that I’ve listened to which typically have a very scooped, treble sound and a screeching, almost ‘coughing’ style of vocals.
This album sounds… well, wide. There’s a meatiness to the guitar tone, the bass is audible, and the cymbals don’t dominate the drum sound, and the vocals are understandable. The only downside to the music is that the drums sound like they were played using cardboard boxes.
The opening track “Born again Satanist” starts quietly. Creepy sound effects build to a very Slayer-eque riff, that gets very South of Heaven (1988) towards the end of the track.
Erik “Tormentor” Sahlström’s vocals sound like a cross between Mille Petrozza from Kreator and Lemmy Kilmister from Motörhead. Which is perhaps fitting given that Kreator were originally named Tormentor. It all comes round in the end.
Another Slayer-esque riff is found at the start of “Witch hammer” which has a fun chorus, reminiscent in fact of “Witch tripper” from Down.
Next up “Thessalonian death cult” has a dramatic opening and progressive riff which is pounding, and a tremendous title that trips off the
I was a little sceptical when I first listened to this album, but after a few listens it has really grown on me. The songs are a good length, are catchy, with good riffs, memorable melodies. This isn’t just another paint-by-numbers thrash/death metal album.
That said, there is little that Crucifyre have brought to the table that is particularly new. It sounds quite retro in parts, with more than a subtle tip of the hat to their influences.
But it sounds so heavy…! I liked it. Except most of the lyrics, and some of the artwork.
Review score: 85%