Rex Shachath – Revocation of the Blood Elect CD Review1st December 2015 0 By Fraser
“I will massacre you! I will fuck you up!”
Sampled from the movie Tropic Thunder, these are the first words we hear from the newest offering from rising Irish death metalheads Rex Shachath on their long awaited new EP, Revocation of the Blood Elect, and it comes as a promise of what you can expect from the release. Hailing from Northern Ireland and formed in 2011, Rex Shachath make no bones about what they are here to do – they are not on a quest to reinvent the world of metal as we know it, they are here to play some death metal to bang your head to, and they do it well.
The opening track, Atonement Through Atrocity, is a four and a half minute slab of straight up death metal. Starting strong with some groove-filled riffing, pummelling double bass and truly evil gutturals, Atonement… is an excellent song to kick off with. Just after the three minute mark the riffing dives down the fretboard taking an almost The Black Dahlia Murder tone as the song builds into a brilliant, if short lived solo, before the speed cranks itself right back up. Next up, Impious Axiom opens with a very catchy, slightly slower riff, before diving into the insane speed again. Another superbly catchy riff accompanies the machine-gun bass drums, before the drums take a back seat and let the riffing shine through with the demonic vocals. The track gives the bass its chance to shine for a moment with a very cool bassline which leads into a chaotic solo before the groove picks up again towards the end of the track.
The title track is the next one to assault our ears. Though starting fast with the speedy riffing and pounding double bass you would expect from Rex Shachath, it doesn’t take long for the speed to drop. In just under a minute the tempo has gone from blindingly fast to groovy and slow, and it’s impossible to resist the urge to headbang here. As the pace picks up again we can tell this song is crammed with riffs more brutal than a hammer to the face. Around the three-minute mark a truly evil and menacing riff takes over, leading perfectly into the tiniest bit of melody to contrast the sheer brutality of the vocals and blast beat driven drums.
Next up is easily the best track of the release, Within the Temple of Disgust, which features none other than UK death metal legend Ben McCrow, from Gorerotted (which became The Rotted in 2008, before plitting up in 2014). The track is probably the catchiest, with some of the best riffs and McCrow’s shouted vocals contrast perfectly with the growls we get from Dave Connolly. Within the Temple of Disgust is simply a truly excellent piece of song-writing. After a brilliant solo, the speed picks up again and you can almost taste the venom dripping from Connolly’s growls towards the end of the song. The EP closes with Colossus Rise which is, again, a fast paced slab of brutality, with more catchy riffs and a collection of short but strong solos. The closing moments of the song is nigh perfect to close the release, with some almost-melodic guitar work behind the growled vocals as everything fades into silence.
Revocation of the Blood Elect does not reinvent the wheel, nor does it does not challenge our perception of metal – but Rex Shachath have never claimed to do those things. What this EP does do, is force you to bang your fucking head for twenty minutes, it is a slab of balls out death metal very much in the vein of our beloved Cannibal Corpse. If the vocals were a tad clearer and had a bit more variation in pitch – some higher screams or mid-level shouts like we heard from Mr McCrow would go such a long way – and had a hint more originality, this would be something very, very special indeed. A solid EP by death metal fans for death metal fans – as promised, this will fuck you up in the best possible way.
1. Atonement Through Atrocity
2. Impious Axiom
3. Revocation of the Blood Elect
4. Within the Temples of Disgust (ft Ben McCrow of Gorerotted, The Rotted, Extreme Noise Terror)
5. Colossus Rise
20th November 2015
Great Dane Records
Rex Shachath is…
Dave Connolly – Vocals
Franky Jay – Guitars
Andrew Pennington – Guitars
Eddie West – Bass
Jay Rodgers – Drums
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About the author
This bearded wildman from North of the wall survives the harsh ever-present winter of Scotland on a healthy diet of thrash, death metal and beer.