Descend - _Beyond thy Realm of Throes_
(Black Lotus Records, 1998)
by: David Rocher (7.5 out of 10)
The Greek four-piece Descend were until last year known as Epidemic, a thrash outfit whose two releases _Artificial Peace_ and _Industrial_ proudly displayed their noble influences -- early Kreator and Sacred Reich, two bands for which Epidemic actually opened live. Despite their name changing, Descend's musical influences obviously remain pretty much the same, although this fine mid-tempo melodic death/thrash now bears the mark a certain melancholy. The ten tracks of _BtRoT_ are creative, finely constructed with hard, rapid low-case riffing -- fans of _Pleasure to Kill_ and such works of art should definitely cast an ear on this band -- and nice melodic leads, and cleverly include alternating schemes of quiet, mildly sorrowful parts and all-out rushing thrash assaults. In fact, the only real loss on _BtRoT_ is due to the mix, which tends to completely drown the already rather "tame" guitar tone in the rabid vocals, which in turn get to be a little invasive. The precise drumwork is also sadly a little feeble in the mix -- nonetheless, it goes to show that if _BtRoT_ had been granted improved means and therefore a more powerful sound, we would be facing a crushing release indeed. However, Descend's first offspring leaves great room for further evolution, and that is definitely an asset not many present-day bands may claim to detain.

(article published 13/2/1999)

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