Vassago - _Knights From Hell_
(No Fashion Records, 1999)
by: Paul Schwarz (6 out of 10)
Though they're "ready to fight the world" (and ripping off Manowar is no way to get ahead in my view) and may not "deal with any romantic bullshit", Vassago have certainly not produced the "fastest, rawest metal album so far". Bold claims generally ride on the back of rather inadequate musical achievements, and Vassago prove the rule, rather than provide an exception to it. They are better than War and that -is- something to be thankful for, but let's face it, that is also not a difficult achievement. Arming themselves heavily with a barrage of basic and traditional death metal riffs and screeching Satanic-centred war cries in stereotyped black metal tradition, Vassago proceed to pound out thirty odd minutes of furious metal closely akin to Deathwitch and their regressively minded peers. It's intense and even impressively so at very brief points, but what little I get out of Vassago I can get out of Possessed or Slayer, multiplied by tenfold, in half the time, and with some captivating atmosphere thrown in free of charge. If you're still looking for balls-out metal based solidly around the effects of speed and good drum production (and let's face it, with releases of the quality of Angel Corpse's _The Inexorable_ [CoC #44] and Hate Eternal's _Conquering the Throne_ [CoC #43] emerging in this year alone, you shouldn't be), you may want to check out Vassago; if not, I'd suggest keeping your distance.

(article published 15/1/2000)

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