Review Summary: You won't escape Satan's hammer.
The modern metal landscape is rife with acts pushing their boundaries and diversifying their influences. With any given album, there’s a high likelihood you’ll find examples of folk, crust, ambient, classical and a whole other slew of genres that have integrated themselves into metal in recent years. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the steady push for diversity makes originality even scarcer, and while there are often artists who stand out because of how many different influences they have, that’s all they are at the end of the day - Influences
. Deströyer 666 takes their lead from nobody. There’s no inspirations, no following in other’s footsteps; the band simply sets out to write the most god-damned evil thing they possibly can, and succeed because they don’t give a *** what came before them. They refuse to be chained to those who formed the foundations of the genre, and use this determination to write a wholly refreshing and unique slab of metal.
While loosely referred to as blackened thrash, the term isn't indicative of what you’ll find here at all; it’s aggression in its most primal form. That's not to say the music is bland and predictable in it's focus, as the band gives each track more than enough space to evolve and progress, often incidentally drawing a path between different subgenres and charting the entire spectrum of metal in the process. You’ll find elements of thrash, black, death and progressive metal all finding their way into the mix as the songs continue in their search for Satan, without ever feeling contrived or tacked on. In direct contrast to the instrumental variety however, Warslut adopts a vicious snarl for the vocals and stubbornly refuses to change at any point, bludgeoning you over the head for the entire duration of the album. It fits in with the bands general work ethic of refusing to add diversity for diversity’s sake, and though back-to-back listens can blend together due to the permanency of the vocal style, any alternative would feel trite and detract from the atmosphere pervading the album's runtime.
You like complex lyricism with detailed narratives and unique subject matter" Well you came to the wrong place, because all you’re getting here is raw, unadulterated metal. The lyrics cover the 4 most important things: war, Satan, alcohol and sex. It’s crude - almost too juvenile to be read off a lyric sheet, but when you hear Warslut spit the words at you with as much spite and malice as he can muster, it’s easy to take seriously. Yet, even with all the vocal and atmospheric consistency, the songs all wind and twist in different directions. The band go straight from the slow-burning opener 'Genesis to Genocide', to the fast-paced thrasher 'Australian and the Anti-Christ' and then into a catchy, riff-laden monster in 'Satan's Hammer', while still managing to maintain the menacing aesthetic that presents itself right from the church bell tolls that signal the album's beginning. The band consistently travel off the beaten path, and are capable of catching even the most seasoned metal veterans off-guard with the serpentine track they choose to embark on.
Rarely has a band embodied the black heart and twisted soul of metal as perfectly as Deströyer 666. There's plenty of artists that have blended together the styles utilized here, but few have done it in such an original manner. Every second of this harrowing journey is filled with the icy winds and freezing snow that defines the landscape of black metal, yet Unchain the Wolves
stands apart due to its unwillingness to rest on the foundations of a single genre, eschewing trends and forging a new path. It's an album that's impossible to recommend based on one's love for a particular band or album, but is nonetheless a gem that should be experienced by any who appreciate metal at its cold, malicious core.