Angelcorpse - Exterminate
Osmose Productions
Black/Death Metal
8 songs (39:50)
Release year: 1998
Osmose Productions
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

Of all Pete Helmkamp’s various projects, Angelcorpse is probably the most coherent, and of all Angelcorpse’s albums, Exterminate is probably the best. I say probably; it’s hard to know for sure, such is the torrent of awesome that Helmkamp generally unloads into your ears that picking great from good would be hard enough were you not headbanging constantly all the time. Of course, when you manage to rest your aching neck for a few seconds and actually listen to the songs beneath, the sameyness has to be commented on. Yet it doesn’t matter. The secret to Angelcorpse’s success is barrelling along at such a breathless pace that you simply don’t care, and the dotted moments of brilliance become even more so, buoyed by the atmosphere of occult violence. Describing Angelcorpse in simple terms is easy – something like Morbid Angel if they went black metal after Altars Of Madness – but describing exactly why underground anthems like Christhammer and Phallelujah are so awesome is very difficult if your listener hasn’t heard them.

More fool them, this cult project is best heard and enjoyed when you’re the only one that knows of it. Helmkamp on vocals and bass is here joined by John Longstreth (later of Origin) on drums, Bill Taylor (later of Immolation) and Gene Palubicki (later of, erm, Blasphemic Cruelty) on guitars, and the four-piece form an attack battalion that never lets up, never gives ground or shows mercy. Although sweetly magnificent metallic moments are scattered here and there (Wartorn’s incredible old-school breakdown, Embrace’s cacophonic soloing) it’s the general crushing atmosphere that pleases the most. No-one can hear Into The Storm Of Steel’s impeccable war metal thud and deny that this band have blood on their mind, or claim that the cover doesn’t sum the music within up superbly. Why even bother to mention highlights like the rousing finale Sons Of Vengeance, breathlessly epic in a surprisingly melodic fashion, when your head is still spinning from the battering the other tracks just gave you? Call it death, black, war metal or all three, Exterminate is a perfect summary of how good the genre can be, and shows off Helmkamp’s niche well.

Killing Songs :
Christhammer, Wartorn, Into The Storm Of Steel, Phallelujah, Sons Of Vengeance
Goat quoted 87 / 100
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