Bolt Thrower - The IVth Crusade review
|Album:||The IVth Crusade|
01. The IVth Crusade
04. Where Next To Conquer
05. As The World Burns
06. This Time It's War
09. Celestial Sanctuary
10. Dying Creed
11. Through The Ages (Outro)
12. Crown Of Life [reissue bonus]
13. Lament [reissue bonus]
Having all but left their grindcore elements behind, legendary death metal masters Bolt Thrower continued engraving their mark on the death metal scene with their fourth full-length release, aptly titled The IVth Crusade. Now, when you've released a classic grindcore album as your debut and followed it up with two stellar death metal outputs, expectations are pretty high. In typical Bolt Thrower fashion, expectations were not only met, but exceeded.
The IVth Crusade is looked upon as an old school death metal release by today's standards, but in its time this was seriously brutal stuff - with less of an occult vibe than Onward to Golgotha, less doomy passages than Last One on Earth, less primitive than Legion... you could go on and on about what this album lacks in comparison to others released during the same year, but what The IVth Crusade has that those other albums don't is a surreal sense of professionalism and duty, as if the band members took it upon themselves not to provide the "most" anything, but to supply the listener with the exact ingredients necessary for a death metal masterpiece.
No gimmicks, no marketing ploys or fancy tricks, no studio magic or plasticized emotions - this is just pure fucking death metal. Raw, edgy, slow, and - most importantly - crushing. Every riff brings with it a sense of subtle melody and groove, yet each gritty chord being struck comes with the danger of caving in your skull. These guys (and girl!) ensure the production doesn't take away any of the primitive barbaric emotion displayed by Thompson and Ward's excellent guitar work, despite such a professional sounding approach. You can feel the spite behind the mic thanks to an almost lethargic-sounding display of beastly snarls and harsh rasps by Karl Willetts, and drummer Andy Whale pounds away relentlessly behind the kit as the album wears you down. The inclusion of scarce melodic elements really adds to the album's authenticity, as the listener is made aware of the musicians' songwriting prowess. Songs flow together seamlessly with plenty of hooks and groove, making for one of the easiest "difficult" listens you'll ever experience.
At the end of the day, The IVth Crusade has proven over the years it deserves its status as a timeless death metal classic. The band's no-nonsense approach to creating some snail-paced oppressive death metal worked wonders and we're left with just over 50 minutes of solid death metal to marvel at as a result.
||Written on 25.04.2012 by Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.|
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