Black Reign

The first couple of spins of Sanctification’s Black Reign brought to mind two parallel thoughts: it is rather redundant and it borrows heavily from the Cannibal Corpse sound, especially the vocals of George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher. As it turned out, neither of those were bad things and Black Reign has grown on me, mainly because the main melodies tend to come to the fore after the first few listens.What we have got here is not a failure to communicate, but rather an album consisting of nine tracks of bludgeoning groove and decent melodic sensibility from the Swedes. Assistance from the Dark Funeral camp (a band that knows a thing or two about redundancy) comes both vocally and production-wise from Emperor Magus Caligula. Peter Tagtgren and Tommy Tagtgren are also involved on the engineering/ production end, so you know it sounds great. Black Reign is stuffed with mid-tempo pummel and the kind of thick ‘n gooey riffs heard on the last couple of Cannibal Corpse albums, sans the technical flair and guitar solos, and a vocal style (the staccato patterns in particular) that is straight out of the Corpsegrinder school of growling. Chugging, double-bass buttressed, groove is paramount, broken up only by the occasional high register backing vocal and some catchy guitar melodies.

As a nine-track offering, Black Reign never wears out its welcome, thanks to concise songwriting. It definitely helps that listeners are served up some very head-bang-able numbers, a handful of which (e.g. the title track and “Eternal”) offer surprisingly hooky chorus melodies. Anything more than nine tacks and the aforementioned redundancy would become an issue. As it stands, Black Reign is a minor pleasant surprise and a pretty tasty bowl of death. – Scott Alisoglu

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
October 7th, 2009


  1. Commented by: Reignman35

    Very solid death outing… Can’t go wrong with this one.

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