Impaled Nazarene - _Absence of War Does Not Mean Peace_
by: Alvin Wee (
Impaled Nazarene albums are hitting the shelves faster than a Krisiun blastbeat these days, and it's a wonder how sloppiness never creeps in. In fact, _Absence..._ marks the Finnish combo's turn towards the tighter, thrashier side of things, achieving the perfect combination between _Show No Mercy_-era Slayer and Mika's original blackened tendencies. Kicking things off with a nerve-tingling martial/mystical intro, the band wastes no time in laying their cards on the table with the furiously thrashing title track. Wildly melodic yet terrifically headbang-inducing scorchers like "The Lost Art of Goat Sacrificing" and "Humble Fuck of Death" owe more to classic '80s metal than the nuclear black metal the band is better known for. The abundance of killer solos and harmonic riffing on the album proves you don't need to go the Children of Bodom way to pay real tribute to the old metal gods, and the band's ability to retain their extreme aspect while wholeheartedly rocking-out is downright awe-inspiring. As usual, the band showcase their knack for writing catchy, epic slower tracks (remember "Blood Is Thicker Than Water"?) on "Never Forgive", but the killer blow comes at the end with the all-out death/thrash blasting of the 15-second "Satan Wants You Dead" followed instantly by the album's most rock-and-roll track polishing things off to a deliciously neck-breaking finish. A potential classic, kicking dirt in the face of all the Finnish melodic acts -- and did I mention the killer cover?
(article published 4/12/2002)
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