Desaster / Pentacle - _(Desaster) In League With (Pentacle)_
(Iron Pegasus, 2000)
by: Alvin Wee (10 out of 10)
"This strictly limited vinyl is a result of a strong friendship between Pentacle and Desaster and their respect for each other throughout the years!" And that quotation on the sleeve aptly sums up the nature of this intriguing 10", each band performing one original song and one cover of the other band's material. Makes for great headbanging, considering that both bands are already stalwarts of the underground. Desaster kick off proceedings with the Pentacle-written "A Serpent in Bloodred", the brutally pummelling drum-intro setting the stage for a riff-fest of terrifying insidiousness -- anyone with an ounce of metalized blood won't be sitting still by now. Not surprisingly, the track doesn't sound unlike Desaster's own material, which merely attests to the band's versatility throughout their previous releases. Racing ahead at breakneck speed, these German thrashmeisters launch into yet another drum-intro, heralding the start of "Hell-Born". While not as merciless as the first track, "Hell-Born" boasts a more controlled, melodic groove that still rips the head off most "retro-thrash" bands, with the wildly flaring solo and Okkulto's inspired "blasphemic death-throat" brimming with sheer ferocity. Pentacle waste no time in introducing Desaster-penned "In a Winter Battle" with a typically Frost-inspired riff and Wannes Gubbels ever-tormented throaty rasps. Desaster are evidently the more melodic songwriters of the two, littering the music with tuneful background leads(?) and infinitely catchy riffs. Certainly the most memorable track on this record, and no less brutal for its melodic nature and lengthy nature. "Soul's Blood" showcases more of Pentacle's straight-ahead brutality, the crushing riffs and ferocious drumming leaving this poor reviewer battered and mangled after a mere minute of aural hammering. Certainly, Pentacle uphold the Dutch death-metal scene's notoriety for sheer heaviness and brutality. Most American bands touted for their extremity would be hard-put to even brush the standards of intensity on offer here. This incredible tribute to the old days of metal is available in a picture disc German pressing, a pink-vinyl Euro version, as well as a black-vinyl American release, and any one of the three is highly recommended for all true aficionados of old-school metal who aren't afraid to risk a sore neck. No idea where the US version can be obtained, but Iron Pegasus can be reached at:

Contact: P.O. Box 1462, 56804 Cochem/Mosel, Germany

(article published 25/10/2000)

3/21/2003 M Noll 9 Desaster - Divine Blasphemies
10/16/1997 S Hoeltzel 8 Desaster - Stormbringer
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