Discreation – Iron Times (Massacre Records)

Wednesday, 22nd March 2023
Rating: 8.5 / 10

Even veteran bands can slip through the cracks from knowledgeable writers just due to the sheer number of releases in any given year – or the lack of exposure from a specific record label / promotional firm to send product. Active since 2001, German death metal band Discreation have released fifth full-lengths and three EP’s over the course of their career, with most of the labels being on domestic underground entities or self-released product. Iron Times as the sixth album though sees the quintet sign to Massacre Records, as well as securing a veteran vocalist that could elevate attention and more followers to their sound.

Inspiration taken from the countless wars through history (as well as the ongoing Ukraine/Russian battle), it’s not surprising that the deadly roar and massive growls of Marc Grewe (ex-Morgoth) will sends shivers to spinal columns, rattling bones through his unmistakable measured wordsmith mastery. Musically the band juggle mid-tempo offerings with bursts of speedier affairs – the guitar work from Sebastian Schilling and Dave Hübsch thick as well as complementary, unfurling everything from tremolo runs to sinister rhythms. Whether it’s the blitzkrieg despair contained for “Blood Ritual” or Slayer/Vader-esque punishment throughout “Maschinekrieg”, there’s no shortage of impressive energy, deadly transitions, as well as the intuitive timing necessary to keep interest high from opening salvo to the fade out conclusion. Subtle keyboard orchestration allows the slower double-kick foundation for “Bringer of Demise” to gain that much more militant impact, while “Mercenary” forces your ears to submit to the caveman riff groove that Obituary put on the map – Marc channeling those Tardy-esque soul swallowing screams/growls from below. Alexander Krull (Atrocity/Leaves’ Eyes) takes care of the production, mixing and mastering from his always reliable Mastersound Studio – leaving Discreation in the capable hands to focus solely on the execution of these tracks.

This beefy style intertwines a mix of European/American influences, and while not exactly breaking down the barriers of meat and potatoes death metal, Discreation delivers their songs from a straightforward, pull no punches perspective that works. Those who choose to get the CD digipak will enjoy their Motörhead cover “I Am the Sword” from 1993’s Bastards – a probable left-field effort that should remind you of the well-regarded discography of the legends in heavy music. If you enjoy the purity of death metal, Iron Times fits that mold.

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