Thornspawn
Wrath of War

Wrath Of War is the third offering on cd by this well known Texas based organizer of the Sacrifice of the Nazarene Child festival. A band known more for relentless hatred and fury than for anything else, Thornspawn sticks to the formula once again. This, of course, is a compliment.

I’ve heard them called cold, raw, ugly, etc. but those are just catch words people throw out to describe extreme metal. So on one hand, of course those words describe this disc, but they also describe every other one. Why support Thornspawn over another band? They have some skill and it shows, but they never lose the brutal edge. The production does give them a primitive retro feel, but musically they pull themselves above the run of the mill band that bill themselves as raw, necro, etc. If they had a cleaner production the music would not be as powerful. Thornspawn have found their niche, and as long as they stay true to their origins and convictions their loyal fans will stay supportive.

Why is it that bands worth supporting tend not to put out much material? Last year’s Empress… was under 20 minutes and Wrath of War is 35 minutes. Add in some vinyl recordings and that is still not much output. Wrath of War, which has their shortest title to date, is a continuation of previous works. The production is different, not necessarily better. The guitars stand out more but the vocals are buried. The guitars are the central instrument, and their heaviness of rhythm actually mixes well with the higher pitched, less distorted leads that wind their way through the background. While this is obviously not a new tactic, it is a sound I like and Thornspawn pull it off very well. Interspersing fast breaks and slow spells gives some variety to the rhythms.

The best song is “Apokalyptic Hellstrike,” totally chaotic mayhem at a frantic pace with lots of distortion. Ultimately, this material adds more ammunition to their live set, which is where they should be heard. The cover art is by Kris Verwimp, of Thyrfing (for example) fame, a nice choice of artist here as well.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
April 19th, 2002

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