Considering that most death metal bands now tend to release their first full-length album after a mere few years of their formation, you have to feel sorry for Winds of Genocide. The year is now 2015 , but it’s taken the British crust death metal group nine years to get their debut album, ‘Usurping the Throne of Disease’ out there, following a demo, an EP and a couple of split releases. It’s somewhat understandable then, that the band’s debut album is so full of frustrated aggression from start to finish.
Typically, ‘Usurping…’ follows more or less the same musical formula as on any of the band’s previous releases. A hellish fusion of crusty death metal, D-beat punk and at times menacing old school black metal vibes which bring to mind early Bathory more than anything else, not to mention the demonic growls of Kat Shevil throughout. That’s practically all there is to know, but thankfully listening to the entire half hour of this album isn’t such a tedious affair, due to how refined the raw musicianship really is. Opener “The Howling Wolves of Armageddon” is an ugly, brutal death metal monster which is ridden with maniacal blastbeats and churning guitar sounds, hidden deep within a cacophony of grim atmospheres and blackened soundscapes. And so the rest of the album follows in the same way, with little variation.
But who’s looking for variation here? What the band have essentially set out to do is clear, and that’s fair enough. The more noteworthy songs however, such as the obvious D-beat punk-influenced “Into the Darkness of Eternal Nuclear Winter” and the short but snappy “Till Graven” as well as the doomy intro of the title track all manage to inject fresh flesh into an otherwise typical whirlwing of old school extreme metal sounds. As blackened as most of the songs may be, they mostly manage to stay relevant in a sub-genre which from time to time does ooze of tedium. “Venomous Warfare” and excellent closer “Swathed by the Black Wings of Death” for instance both border on the earlier black metal scene, bringing to mind the more menacing side of Venom and definitely the rapid-fire pace of Bathory.
That said, musically and vocally, Winds of Genocide’s debut album is a solid, deadly, if repetitive affair. The band utilize their influences in such a way that it’s hard to imagine anything other than the most extreme sounds of the mid-to-late 80s, and bring them all into the 21st century without ever sounding dated. If this is anything to go by, Winds of Genocide should definitely succeed in future years.
Released: 26th January, 2015.
1. The Howling Wolves of Armageddon
2. Deathstrike of the Scythe
3. Veonomous Warfare
4. In the Darkness of Eternal Nuclear Winter
5. Usurping the Throne of Disease
6. Millions lie Slaughtered
7. Till Graven
8. Mass Graves of the Innocent
9. Swathed by the Black Wings of Death