Desaster - _Divine Blasphemies_
(Iron Pegasus, 2002)
by: Matthias Noll (9 out of 10)
In the last couple of years Desaster have mainly impressed me through their display of stubborn underground spirit. In times where not many give a damn about this style, the German four-piece has proudly and inexorably delivered authentic-sounding German thrash combined with slight black metal influences and imagery. This mostly failed to impress me on a musical level, because I never got the impression that Desaster were really able to consistently follow in the footsteps even of second tier outfits like Deathrow, Violent Force or Assassin. Desaster were either not black, not thrashing or not violent enough to do much for me, and were instead uncomfortably located in some kind of no-man's land where a lot of respect is due for many reasons but the least of which is outstanding musical accomplishments. Seeing them live in Wacken 2001 was enjoyable but not really spectacular either. I'm not really sure what has happened since then, but Desaster are back with their new album _Divine Blasphemies_ and here I sit, the non-believer, and want to inform you that it shreds, totally! It's really difficult to pinpoint what exactly makes this album so much better than previous Desaster material I've heard. It's a combination of multiple factors: the production is sharper and more aggressive while sounding refreshingly natural; the songs thrash fiercer and more memorably; and an excellent quality level is maintained throughout the whole album. And most importantly for me, their new vocalist delivers a truly phenomenal performance, whereas I never felt totally comfortable with his predecessor Okkulto. The aptly named Sataniac does not only shout, snarl and scream coarsely into the microphone in a powerful fashion; he attacks it like a rabid animal with such ferocious energy that the recording equipment is often kicked into overdrive whenever he lets lose completely. Kreator's Mille has quite a few problems sounding like a man in comparison to this madman during their vocal duet in the song "Nighthawk". Musically Desaster deliver prime up-tempo and fast Teutonic thrash on _Divine Blasphemies_ and I don't hear much of a black metal influence this time. Although there are occasional bits and pieces which remind me of old Destruction and other legends, Desaster have developed their own distinguishable and raw style, with a genuine '80s vibe which clearly distinguishes them from more modern German thrashers like the formidable Dew-Scented. I really doubt there will be a better album coming out of Germany in 2003. Get those denim vests out and join the thrashing rage -- now!


(article published 21/3/2003)

10/16/1997 S Hoeltzel 8 Desaster - Stormbringer
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