Anarazel-Our Dark Lord & Saviour album review By Mark J.. FFO: Sensational Old School Black Metal and Dark Thrash masterpiece.


Anarazel-Our Dark Lord & Saviour album review By Mark J. FFO: Sensational Old School Black Metal and Dark Thrash masterpiece.

We certainly get many releases across our digital desk and only a few grab our attention instantly, but this one literally grabbed us by the throat and headbutted us. Anarazel delivers a crushing masterpiece with their second full-length album and it is a stunning release that you need.

The band have actually existed since 1996 and member changes and breaks aside, they have a robust ethos of solid spine-ripping black metal of the finest quality. What I love about this band is they certainly are massively influenced by Norway and its Nordic neighbours but have ravishing throwbacks to the old greats such as Bathory, Venom and German thrash legends such as Sodom, Destruction and Kreator. Combine this with a dual vocal attack, brilliant songwriting skills and stellar production and you have a seriously assured and bombastic masterpiece.

Our Dark Lord & Saviour is a 10-track album with one track having a moody sample-based instrumental focus and the rest are straight-up aggressive black metal beasts. Heretic Priest is the opening track that has a witty anti-christian sample and then simply slices your head off with hideously biting riffs and nuclear-powered vocals.  The title track is as bananas with brutal blasts, rasping classic devilish vocals and cold as-hell guitarwork. The tempo is as frenzied as the vitriol in the vocal delivery. One notable change is the guitar magic on this album really makes every track shine. The playing is precise, moody as fuck and super atmospheric, but also has that punishing aspect-i.e. black metal perfection. 

Thousand Churches is one of the wild album classics and so many things to adore, the dirty vocals that rain blood all over you and the killer riffs that are equally catchy and abrasive. This is one of the album's longest tracks and time flies by, due to the top-class musicianship on show here. This is one of the best Australian black metal albums you will ever hear. As I previously said the Scandi Black Metal sound dominates, but the riff and rhythms are very old-school black thrash be it Hobbs Angel of Death/Slaughterlord or Bathory with some definitive early Sodom style aggression for extra effect. Why is this band so good, every song is very solid in terms of balance between tension and thunderous, almost explosive audio violence, yet the songs are quite atmospheric in an old black thrashy manner. Drawing this concept out, the band make you bang your head in unison to the rage each song has, but each track builds an almost anxious mood and fantastic tone, particularly from the excellent guitar playing. Revenant has blinding speed mixed with brilliant tremolo picking and almost organic punk-like aggression.

This menacing skill makes every track pop. Equally, Fuck Your God(Satan is King), Bloodwitch, Realm of the Crucifer and Death Always Wins shows how amazing this band is with blinding work that at times is almost like Morbid Angel/Deicide in a blender with early Dark Throne/Emperor and Immortal. And that is not a pisstake, this masterpiece is as cold as the harshest Norwegian winter but as punishing as all the battering that early Florida death metal dishes out. Two other tracks really stand out, Serpent's Temptation is a fast-paced anthem that has all the frightening of early Bathory mixed with hauntingly and super forceful guitar work that can be pleasantly dour, but dynamic as fuck. This track is easily the finest track, a splendidly morose classic. 

Anarazel closes the album out like the final battle in a war. This warfare is illustrated by blazing riffs, mayhemic bass and drums(both incredible players(like world-class) on every track and super in sync with the whole band, tight and purposeful) and vocals are a dazzling mix of growls/shrieks and all belligerent as hell. One thing this album fatigues you with turbulent brutality and that is better than most black metal releases tbh, this band keeps the nastiness and attention to the final note of this track. This album is masterful, repugnant, gruesome and refuses to let up. Where other bands suffocate themselves in the bland, Anarazel remains raw, angry and high energy across this release. This macabre album is groundbreaking in that it definitely pays homage to the greats, but does it their own way. 
Kudos Anarazel, you are a black metal force.

Go see them live and support them hard.
The album is out tomorrow:

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