Thrall – Vermin to the Earth (Moribund Records)

Saturday, 23rd March 2013
Rating: 7/10

Always found it funny how dirty, old-school black metal bands on Moribund never have any color in their album artwork. Like, are they too blackto add some hues? Just for once, one of these bands should throw in a ray of sunshine. That would really throw everyone off.

In the case of Australia’s Thrall, dissonant black metal of the Darkthrone circa 1992 variety is in the house. All the ingredients are here: a grimy production job, haggard tremolo picking, and frothy vocals. To top things off, Thrall is a duo (like Darkthrone), so the connection is obviously there. Musically, the Aussies are able to hit upon the rock ‘n’ roll side of BM on “Oblivion,” making it one of the album’s more memorable jaunts. The modern-day Mayhem plunder of “Plague of Man” is another worthy cut, as the band tapers off the tempo and allows for those off-putting and weird-sounding riffs to take form.

Virtually indistinguishable from the next band of this ilk, Thrall won’t knock the socks (or gauntlets) off anyone already well-versed in the black metal arts. If anything, Vermin to the Earth is by-the-book necro black metal, which is a good or bad thing depending who you ask. We’re just trying to figure out how to make the album artwork more colorful.

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