Album Review: Thrall – Vermin To The Earth

Clinically proven by independent scientists to fight against infection and disease, a 45-minute dose of antipodean black metal in the form of Thrall’s ‘Vermin to the Earth’ is just the tonic to blast even the hardiest hangover from the insides of your skull. After their 2010 debut, ‘Away From the Haunts of Men’, was widely lauded as being amongst the best in a vintage year for the genre, the Tasmanian two-piece present a second straight release of vital, energetic black metal that carries a staunchly anti-human agenda.

Thrall Vermin To The Earth ArtworkThrall convincingly conjure a mix of droning, meditative portions resembling 1349’s newer output, particularly on ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Disease’s Maiming Caress’, and a punkier assault in the vein of Tsjuder. On the title track, a sparseness resembling Negura Bunget and early Melechesh bleeds through, whilst deeper vocals and the groove of many of the riffs evoke the style of Mayhem’s first two albums. The undoubted highlights of the record are ‘Plague of Man’ and ‘Mass Extinction’, where each of these influences is given the space to develop and progress towards a haunting conclusion. It is these moments, such as on closing track ‘Vita Vacuus Voluntas’, where creative guitar playing is combined with the intelligent and austere use of blastbeats, when Thrall thrive.

The overall result is a coherent and consistent record that touches upon most of the increasingly disparate areas of the genre, and Thrall’s success in pulling these influences together is yet another nail in the coffins of sub-par artists who are still trying to recreate the Norwegian scene of the early 1990s. This is definitely a record that gets better upon the third or fourth listen, and is surely as much a candidate for black metal record of the year as its predecessor was last year.


About Stuart

I have been writing for about seven years, my only writing qualification is a poorly-deserved grade C in GCSE English Language. I write mainly on music and literature, but have also written about the politics of sport, for some reason. I generally listen to horrible music, so my reviews will invariably be of black metal, grindcore or noise bands. Interests include attempting to play ice hockey, relieving Oxfam charity shops of every last book that they receive, and becoming TOP DOG in the world of Polish football spread-betting.

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