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Review: Martial Barrage - Call Of The Serapeum
Martial Barrage
Call Of The Serapeum

Label: Sinister Sounds
Year released: 2005
Duration: 36:52
Tracks: 8
Genre: Death Metal

Rating: 4.75/5

Review online: October 21, 2005
Reviewed by: Chaossphere
Readers Rating
Call Of The Serapeum

Rated 5/5 (100%) (1 Vote)

Well, this is certainly a vicious kick in the face. Hailing from Canada, Martial Barrage unleashes a rabid assault upon the senses, a swirling vortex of well-directed aggression which flattens all in its path. Built around an uncomplicated framework of punchy death metal riffs, savage hyperfast drumming and alternating high/low discernable harsh vocals, Call Of The Serapeum pounds away like a hammer on your skull. The production here is raw, clear and powerful, organic and swirling. This is true death metal, old-school in intent yet obviously very modern and cutting-edge in it's unrelenting violence. This band never resorts to overtriggered drums, scooped guitars or layers of effects to achieve their aims. In fact, this is probably the rawest album in this genre I've heard lately.

The songwriting essentially revolves around the playoff between drums and guitar/bass – the rhythm and melodies entwine and create a rumbling, crushing miasma of scorn and violence. Frequent use of tempo shifts and pinch harmonics ensures maximum carnage here, at once demonically quick and heavier than stone. There's no lack of variation either – military snare rolls, doom-infused minor-scale harmonies, breakneck gravity-blasts, staccato power chord riffing and other such musical elements are all included here, all adding up to a rich texture of sound which reveals something new every time.

Lyrically, this is exemplary. The subject matter is undoubtedly very "Aryan" in nature, based around conquest, elitism and reverence for the ancient ways. Avoiding obvious political references, these lyrics are exceptionally well constructed statements of intent, ranging from heathen traditionalism (Blot, Call Of The Serapeum) to exhortations of warlike rage (Skirting Byzantium, Imperative Processional) and pure militant hatred (everything else). Throughout the lyrics, the band displays an obvious disgust at modern complacency and a yearning for a return to the old ways of conquest and pillage. Marvelous stuff indeed.

Anyone with an appreciation for this style of skillfully played militant heathen death metal – for vague reference points, think Axis Of Advance, Angel Corpse and Abominator – is in for a treat with this disc. The rating alone should make it obvious that I'm unusually impressed with this, and it's already in the running for my top 10 of 2005. Unreservedly recommended.

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