Dew-Scented – Invocation (Prosthetic Records)

Monday, 18th March 2013
Rating: 8.5/10

When you highlight traditional German thrash, the trio of acts that come to mind regardless of order include Kreator, Destruction and Sodom. Instinctively taking the precursor British metal foundation and adding elements of hardcore and punk, they’ve been able to inspire a second generation of acts who keep the movement alive today.

Dew-Scented hit the scene in between, their roots taking shape in 1992 and evolving through a seven album career plus numerous tour and festival sightings across mainland Europe. Invocation represents a slight overhaul in terms of a lineup (3/5th’s new recruits), yet stylistically roars with razor sharp, slice-and-dice riffs and intense bursts of speed.

Guitarists Michael Borchers and Martin Walczak take many of their dual phrasings and individual cues from many of the great American thrash greats, as I hear a lot of Heathen and Vio-lence in songs like “Torn to Shreds” and “Condemnation.” Vocalist Leif Jensen possesses a deep, discernable delivery; savage and with an ear to the underground, best evidenced for his potent verbal discharge being the rhythmically thunderous “Revel in Contempt.”

I’d be hard pressed not to see intense circle pit or wall of death action over material like “Arise from Decay” with its jackhammer drum/guitar opening action or the Testament-like “Have No Mercy On Us.” The modern production doesn’t sacrifice one iota of impact – everything hits fully and squarely from beginning to end.

Dew-Scented pile on the riffs, keep the transitions quick and tight, and understand that even within the thrash framework you have to inject minor dynamics and subtle interludes or else you’ll overload consumers’ headspace. Rarely can you say an act 18 years into the game has hit their stride in the studio. With Invocation, Dew-Scented release a worthy platter in contention with the long-term masterpieces.

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