Decrowning The Irenarch

Written by: EW on 23/04/2008 01:15:41

This is a poignant review for me to write given that it\'s my first of a British band, it\'s St. George\'s Day today (our National Day – 23/4) but most importantly because it is truly one of the greatest Extreme Metal albums by a British band there has EVER been. It would be of no disservice to Spearhead to rate \"Decrowning The Irenarch\" up amongst the classics of Napalm Death, Carcass and the mighty Bolt Thrower, an impressive feat if you ask me.

Spearhead blast forth a mixture of Blackened Death Metal teeming with some Thrash-tacular moments for good measure, all with a precision and intensity rarely witnessed in this or any other day, drawing upon the war-obsessed teachings of the aforementioned Bolt Thrower as well as taking a leaf out of Destroyer 666\'s book of penning some truly fantastic riffs that most others could only dream of. The result is a display of outstanding maturity and confidence across all departments, notably including the drum work of Vortigern whose footwork resembles the flat-out power of a machine gun at the same time as his fills and subtlety with the hands ensure no ten seconds ever sound the same. Proceedings begin with the surprisingly angelic sounds of \"Prolegomenon\", however the majesty of the choral vocals is underpinned by the thuds of soldiers on the march, deeply symbolic of the militaristic nature of the album\'s lyrics. One cannot help feel a sense of grandeur in the riffs of \"In The Face Of The Absolute\" and \"Mors Triumphalis\" where often lightning fast guitar and drum work leads into slower sections that feel like the musical equivalent of national military parades - full of bravado, completely uncompromising and intent on total annihilation of anything that dare stand in the way.

Despite the complicated nature of some of the structures, solos are not forgotten and boy does Nephilim know how to create one. Not just a flashy show off cramming in as many notes in the shortest time possible, oh no, but solos that pull the listener in with their connection to the song at large before fitting back into the mercenary procession of Angelcorpse-influenced riffaging that is the band\'s rhythm section. Rasped vocals can be likened to those of Carcass\' Jeff Walker, being neither typical Black nor Death Metal offerings, and though they are similar throughout, it is the lead guitar work that is most at the forefront, demanding mass attention in a manner that only Paris Hilton knows of (though I believe for very different reasons).

As Black/Death Metal albums go, there is little opportunity to be upset by any of the 38 minutes of \"Decrowning The Irenarch\", especially considering the relative inexperience of the band with this being just their second full-length. The album ends on a high note with the instrumental \"Aftermath\", featuring further displays of Spearhead\'s musical arsenal of intelligent lead work and quite un-Death Metal-like, gloriously hook-laden riffs, a factor I believe that should help this appeal to more than just the standard Black/Death Metal fan. It appears that wherever war exists Spearhead will draw imperious inspiration, and given mankind\'s love affair with killing each other whenever possible, Spearhead have all the chances of being a name-to-remember for years to come.


Download: In The Face Of The Absolute, Mors Triumphalis, Road To Austerlitz
For the fans of: Angelcorpse, Bolt Thrower, Morbid Angel, Destroyer 666
Listen: MySpace

Release date 06.12.2007
Invictus Productions

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