Craven idol
The Shackles of Mammon

England’s brutal blackened death/thrash metal band, Craven Idol, return with their scorching follow-up to 2013’s outstanding Towards Eschaton album.  Hopefully you did not snooze too long and missed their 2010 ep, Ethereal Altars, which was also phenomenal.  The Shackles of Mammon boasts longer songs this time around, with the average song length, in this 8 song affair, coming out to 5 minutes.  “Pyromancer” starts right off the bat with some raging vocals, drums, guitar solos and Immolator of Sadistik Wrath’s vocals sounding fiercely powerful and some awesome background chanting vocals.  The shortest of all the songs at 2.33 has some nice higher pitched screams towards the end of the song, reminding me of vintage Tom Araya, circa, 1983/84.  How he reaches those highs, is beyond me.  “A Ripping Strike” comes in next with some terrific guitar work, once again and the 1.15 mark pitches forward with a blackened death thrash metal guitar tone and beat, which is simply remarkable.  2 minutes later the double bass going over the guitar melodies and spoken word moments are quite memorable.  We are even treated to some classic metal riffing towards the end of the song.  At this point, do I really need to review the rest of this album????????  Christ almighty……this is shaping up to be the best Dark Descent Records release for 2017.  Well ok…I’ll soldier on good reader.

“The Trudge”, at close to 8 minutes, certainly has some classic Bathory moments, with the beginning segments, reminding me of The Hammerheart era.  Atmospheric, mid-paced heaviness with epic qualities and some terrific headbanging moments.  Always willing to mix up those time changes, Craven Idol, rips into a brutal death/thrashing fast pace, right before the 5 minute mark and this is followed up with incredible guitar leads over the drums and barking, shouting vocals and I’m feeling berated, at the way the vocals are scathingly spewed out…I’m loving every minute of this.  Dear dark lord I truly thought Craven Idol’s debut album was one of the finest death/thrash albums, but The Shackles of Mammon tops it, in ways I did not think the band were capable of.  For one the band introducing some of the classic Manilla Road/Iron Maiden parts , surrounded with vicious brutal death/thrashing and epic Bathory inspired soundscapes, this is one of the finest albums for 2017.

  “Tottering Cities of Men” ends the album and at over 8 minutes the song clobbers you over the head with some sludgy doom death, with awesome bass guitar moments and the song overall, especially the beginning is DEPRESSING……true emotive qualities permeate this track and you can feel the power and emotion behind each segment of this beginning.  Striking. Memorable. What I look for in music, the connection and this is what makes Craven Idol so special.  The band picks up the pace with an interesting beat and great bass guitar plucking over the quicker pace, really adds another layer to this part.  A little past the 5 minute mark we’re greeted with some spoken word moments, pounding background rhythm section.  The song teeters and tottles towards the end in epic quality, bringing back that depressing beginning…and an attached outro, just to kick you in your pants and ensure you’re not picking your nose.

That’s all folks, review is over…go home…Hell to the NO!!  You need to get your payment method out and go onto Dark Descent Records and purchase The Shackles of Mammon.  One of the most original bands today incorporating old school influences, however keeping the music all around sounding fresh, nothing dated and most of all a truly old school organic, but wonderful production.  I cannot leave out the drumming-really spectacular and the drum production is excellent.  Craven Idol need to be proud of this album, as I can hear the blood, sweat and tears that went into this.  This is leaps and miles above a lot of bands out there today.  The quality of each song is pitch-perfect and tell me what band is out there combining classic metal, interwoven into  vicious brutal blackened death thrashing metal, epic viking-like metal moments, and having it sound cohesive, nothing out of place, but all coming together to make it an “IT” factor??????????  Well, crap… the last Chapel of Disease album was quite spectacular…but regardless of that fact, Craven Idol have put out a righteous album.  Buy or be “Dashed to Death” again and again and again.  Godly Fuckin’ Album!! 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
May 5th, 2017

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