Altar of Sin - Tales of Carnage First Class
Xtreem Music
9 songs (32:07)
Release year: 2012
Xtreem Music
Reviewed by Charles
No, not Altar of Plagues; this is an entirely different kettle of worms. No ‘soundscapes’ here- in fact, this is more ‘pre’ than ‘post’, harking back to extreme metal trailblazers like Possessed or Sarcofago. Altar of Sin arose from the ashes of the atrociously-named Unborned, but their music is definitely better than that risible ex-appellation might suggest. This is entertaining deathened thrash from Valencia, Spain, full of mad energy.

And with a strange album title, as well. I am not sure why they felt the need to point out that these tales of carnage are ‘first class’ as opposed to second class or recorded delivery, but hey ho. It certainly doesn’t take 1-2 working days for them to have their desired impact! Haha! In fact, the effect is immediate. I love the introductory few seconds of album opener Master Satan. Its crashing chords and energy-building drum fills are the sound of extreme metal gone Arena Rock, and when played live should be accompanied by people clapping their hands above their heads in time. You know, like they do at Bon Jovi gigs. Then it whips into a fiery thrash riff; the maniacal pace invoking the gleeful extremity of proto-death metal. The vocals are ferocious: deep and properly intimidating. In short, a mighty opening statement. Wrapped in a Black Cloak is similarly deranged: a growling slow riff picks up pace before jolting into truly breakneck old-time extreme metal in the Seven Churches vein. The freakish dual vocals again add a screeching layer of whimsical horror, and scratchy guitar solos vie with the spasming drumming to push the pace forward haphazardly.

And so it continues, cackling extremity ever to the fore. Like with Possessed themselves, maybe Altar of Sin’s clearest influence, the songwriting here is deceptively varied. Extreme Perverts Feast (I wonder if this was an Unborned song originally?), for example, spins from grimy, bass-led groove into another shameless display of brute speed, the latter reminding me of another of my old extreme thrash favourites, Holy Moses (think In the Slaughterhouse, or somesuch). De Tribus Impostoribus features tightly-meshed lead harmonies- hardly experimental, but indicative of the instrumental and textural flourishes the band hurl into their sound on occasion to keep it interesting. There’s even the odd quiet bit, like in Voodoo Hell, though it can probably be easily skipped over. Hardly original, but nonetheless a surprisingly invigorating gust of extreme metal wind.

Killing Songs :
Master Satan, Into the Circle Pit, Wrapped in a Black Cloak
Charles quoted 75 / 100
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