GUILD OF DESTRUCTION
"Into Oblivion"

(Grindhead)

01. Kill Kill Kill
02. Infected Mind
03. River Styxxx
04. Prey
05. Bile Enthroned
06. Flesh Canvas
07. L.H.
08. Into Oblivion

RATING: 8.5/10

All hail Australian extreme metal! So many of the black, death, and grindcore bands in that country make some of the most blasphemous, blast beaten, drunk-ass metal anywhere in the world. DESTROYER 666, ABOMINATOR, you name it, the flames dance high in the night sky and ears bleed profusely. Now, seemingly out of nowhere, come GUILD OF DESTRUCTION (hereinafter referred to most appropriately as G.O.D.) and an absolute motherfucker of a death metal disc called "Into Oblivion". Count this one as a belated addition to my best-of 2007 list because this baby knocks the stuffing out of scads of many better known bands. And to think I almost overlooked this one.

Giving new meaning to "power trio," "Into Oblivion" works on many levels, but perhaps most importantly the aural atrocity of it all transcends individual compositions. With a triumphant stomp 'n shout of "Kill! Kill! Kill!" G.O.D. begins a hellish journey through eight tracks of tank division warfare that sees the band deftly incorporating black metal and dirty thrash sections into these old-school spirited punishers. In fact, I'd be more inclined to use a genre descriptor like "war metal" in place of "black metal," as the former defines that distinctly Australian way of leaving a path of scorched earth. You can hear it on a track like "River Styxxx" with its superb thrash changeups, as well as the pummeling cadence of "Prey". Additionally, the album's sound is natural and raw, yet the mix is clear and muscular. It's nice to hear guitar solos played with feeling over nothing more than a bass line and drum beat too.

And good goat, Loc's vocals are obscene! His growl is deep and menacing, his shriek demonically possessed and convincing beyond belief. His shining moment comes on album highlight "Bile Enthroned" during which his gruff, shouted vocals (during which his accent bleeds through most effectively) are commanding and the kind of thing that makes one tense up and prepare for the worst. Elsewhere, dirty and distorted bass lines are left naked when the music drops out as some kind of warning to the abomination soon to follow. Speeding double-bass cracks the earth, strings are bent in INCANTATION-esque fashion on "Flesh Canvas", and agonizing screams and maniacal outbursts slice through the air on the title track before a lengthy acoustic outro ends the album as visions of smoldering bodies strewn across a battlefield enter the mind.

The rest of the world better pray to their god that these boys aren't allowed to leave the country. You don't know terrorism until you've heard "Into Oblivion".

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