Desultor
Masters of Hate

I’ll get right to it- Swedish duo Desultor present the same kind of musical/vocal conundrum as Blood Revolt‘s Indoctrine presented last year; that’s to say blisteringly awesome thrash/black/death metal but rather than any of the typical roars, growls or rasps, the vocals of Markus Joha are presented in a purely clean, power metal /traditional metal style. However, where I wasn’t fully enamored with the end result of Indoctrine, Masters of Hate ends up being a pretty impressive success.

While Joha provides the face and voice of Desultor with his varied and emotive clean croons, the back bone of Desultor is provided by the incredibly tight and frenetic drumming of Ibrahim Stråhlman (of  late 90s early 00s melodic death metal act Auberon)  and when the two come together it somehow works.  Partly because the music is so high octane and often relentless with its polished assault, but partly because Joha’s vocals deliver just the right mix of epic, memorable clarity and gravelly emotion. A few gruff bellows and screams here and there also help to remind you of the albums underlying extremity, which can be often overlooked with the presence of the vocals.

Only recently discovering Strapping Young Lad, I hear some of Devin Townsend’s more insane balls out moments here (i.e “You Suck”) as the energy of the music is pretty impressive. And the duo balance everything perfectly. Even not being a huge fan of this vocal style, the music more than makes up for it, and Joha (who also does the guitars and drums) does a good job of making the vocals even more effective by making the choruses pretty damn catchy also.

After the atmospheric intro “Chapter 1- New Era”, “Black Monday” explodes from the speakers with a throttling salvo of double bass intensity and beefy crystal clear riffing. Admittedly, “Black Monday” is pretty much the receipt for the rest of the album, but with a confident, catchy delivery and attention grabbing intensity, the likes of “Another World”, “Division Insane”, “Luxury of Pain” and particularly ferocious “As So We Bleed”  will get your neck snapping and fingers shredding.

Another two instrumentals “Chapter 2- The Phoenix” and “The End” offer some respite, but make no mistake the goal of the album is pure shred, and the interludes merely serve as breathers between hard and fast sprints. Add a tight, crisp production and package is complete, even a little repetitive towards the end, but certainly a very pleasant surprise for 2012 and a bit of a welcome break from all the growling and gurgling I usually subject myself to.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
May 14th, 2012

Comments

  1. Commented by: denial

    Anyone who only recently discovered syl must be in the age range of 10-12 and must not have a clue about what constitutes heaviness in music.


  2. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Damn. My secret is out…


  3. Commented by: gordeth

    Wow, that means you started writing reviews in the womb! :lol:


  4. Commented by: gordeth

    Good review, btw. I plan on picking this up soon. It sounds like it’ll make for some good summer music.


  5. Commented by: Gabaghoul

    Everytime I see denial trolling Erik I think of the Loki-Hulk scene in The Avengers


  6. Commented by: Odovacar

    I really enjoy this album. I was on a quest to find death metal that didn’t use growls, and this was what I found! I would like to see more bands take more extreme music and do something different with the vocals rather than the prerequisite of growls, rasps, and shrieks.


  7. Commented by: ElGueroSinFe

    Such a great album, the one Nevermore wished they made recently.


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