Assassin are one of those bands who I feel have had some pretty impressive successes in Europe but for some reason never been able to break the big time Stateside. That being said - their latest offering Combat Cathedral might very well be the thing that pushes them over the edge. Gloriously heavy and at times bordering on manic there is something endlessly exciting about this album, paying tribute to the gods of old and yet bringing the band forward, emphasizing their heavy grooves and showing us a new path to absolution.
There is something endlessly addictive about the energetic and manic riffing on a song like Servant Of Fear. There is nothing especially groundbreaking about it - in fact I would make the argument that a lot of these songs could do with a few more surprises. That being said - when everything is executed as perfectly as the tracks on Combat Cathedral are one might wonder if bringing in non-traditional elements would actually take away from what Assassin have been able to do here. This is a classic, no frills, balls out thrash metal record, and at the end of the day anything that shifts it from that is kind of a limiting factor.
Assassin have bee cultivating this very specific sound for years now and Combat Cathedral is perhaps their tightest release to date. While a few bits could still be cut here and there by and large this is an album that comes out, tears your throat out and then goes home. If you're ready to fucking thrash, get ready to dive in, but if you can't take the rage at a million miles an hour for twelve tracks in a row then maybe Assassin isn't for you. Vicious, unrelenting and strangely beautiful - this is what thrash should be about.
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