Thanatos - Justified Genocide
Deity Down Records
Death/Thrash Metal
11 songs (47:11)
Release year: 2009
Thanatos, Deity Down Records
Reviewed by Goat

Impressively, Dutch Death/Thrash crossbreeders Thanatos have been around for over twenty-five years, and with only their fifth album here the band prove themselves worthy of their cult following. Those who have overdosed on The Haunted need not fear, for this is old-school stuff, best described as a cross between Dismember and Dark Angel. It's as groovy as hell, vocalist and guitarist Stephan's sick shriek a throwback to the good old days when Death Metal actually felt like you were dying as opposed to just listening to someone play their guitar really well. It didn't come as much of a surprise when a bit of research revealed that Stephan and fellow guitarist Paul are part of the excellent Hail Of Bullets - an old-school Death Metal supergroup that fans of the style really should be aware of already - playing this sort of music requires experience from back in the day, I've found, and these guys are certainly experienced.

Apparently Thanatos was the first Dutch extreme metal band ever, quite the title from a country that's underappreciated for its contribution to heaviness, and the band are clearly still proving their quality. This is far from technical music, as good as the playing is, but it's heavy, very heavy, and the pulverising crunch of cuts like The Devil's Triangle are more than enough to mark Thanatos' name as veterans of the game. The album's a great, violent listen, speeding through the likes of March Of The Infidels with a drive and power that Slayer have lacked for years. I'm hard pressed to pick highlights, really, such is the overall quality shown, from the slower, more intense pounders like Apostles Of Damnation (complete with wonderfully spinechilling screaming) to the thrashing speedfests like And Jesus Wept. It's a pretty even mixture between Death and Thrash, taking all the best elements of each and simply crushing the listener with an exciting and energetic sound which it's pretty much impossible not to headbang to.

Despite their longevity Thanatos have never really hit success, and although it's a shame, listening to Justified Genocide you can understand why. This is uncompromising, uncommercial music, powerful and punishing, as heavy today as it was ten years ago, and there's not a great deal that a label can do with this - those that want it, know where to find it, whilst those who aren't into this style will probably not be converted, even by an album as solid as this. If you do enjoy the old school of Death Metal, then Justified Genocide is highly recommended, full of the sort of crushing brutality that's currently unpopular (surprising, as you'd have thought there would be crossover appeal to the Deathcore hordes) to all but a dedicated few. Kudos to Thanatos for continuing to play this sort of music when a few breakdowns would give them that vital bit of popularity - long may they keep the faith.

Killing Songs :
They Feed On Fear, The Devil's Triangle, Justified Genocide, The Netherworld, Dawn Of Eternity, Apostles Of Damnation
Goat quoted 83 / 100
Other albums by Thanatos that we have reviewed:
Thanatos - Undead.Unholy.Divine. reviewed by Alex and quoted 71 / 100
Thanatos - Angelic Encounters reviewed by Marc and quoted 77 / 100
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