Domination Campaign
Onwards to Glory

And so the killer, 2021 Bolt Thrower/ Hail of Bullets worship/homage continues, this time from notable Australian duo, Dave Haley (drums/recording) and Jason Peppiatt (vocals, guitar, bass, artwork) of Psycroptic. And if the prospect of these two delivering 8 songs about various battles in history doesn’t give you a howitzer-sized boner, then move along.

Of course, Haley has been doing the pure death metal thing for a couple of albums now (within a year of each other no less….), with his recent Werewolves project, but Peppiatt hasn’t branched out much outside of the technical metal realms of Psycroptic, and I’ll say this upfront; I’m not a fan of his voice in Psycroptic or even here, but luckily, the sheer salvo of killer riffs on display he delivers here, outweighs the raspy shout he delivers.

If the album title isn’t a dead giveaway, song titles like “Death Before Dishonour”, “As Daylight Breaks”, “The Sniper’s Gaze” and “Terror From Above” certainly should clue you in. This is war mongerin’, lead spittin’ death metal. It’s largely based on the instantly recognizable Bolt Thrower, mid-paced trundles perfected by the likes of Memoriam, (well, duh) Frozen Soul, and Just Before Dawn, and has plenty of blast beats thrown here and there (“As Daylight Breaks”, “A Modern Age of War”, “Terror From Above”, “The Domination Campaign”),  but nowhere near as intense as Haley’s more ferocious Werewolves output.

But holy fuck are there some great, mid-paced rumbling, bludgeoning riffs here. They get right to it with a perfect album-opening highlight in “Death Before Dishonour”, telling you right away the clear and obvious influences on display, the riff at 2:50 is just immense, perfect, death metal. Then you get songs like “Onwards to Glory” which could be from any Bolt Thrower album, “The Sniper’s Gaze”, with an fucking killer opening riff that would make Jo Bench shit herself with glee (and is arguably one of the best Bolt Thrower homage riffs of recent memory), “A Modern Age of War”, which starts with what could be a killer, neck-snapping, Dying Fetus stomp. “Against All Odds” and “Terror From Above” do a little of everything, cementing that this is all perfect, and simply effective death metal from two dudes that know what they want to deliver here.

The only thing missing is that slower, somber, tragic number that Bolt Thrower perfected.  I’d love to hear the duo deliver a long doomy number about The Somme or some shit. Maybe on the next album lads? Its not like Dave Haley is busy or anything..

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
July 21st, 2021

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