Year of release: 2019
Released by: Handful of Hate
Rating: 8 / 10
In the few years that have passed since my acquaintance with VERWÜSTUNG, the band has come a long way. VERWÜSTUNG, from almost unknown guys who released a cassette on Aeon of Horus, turned into - I’m not afraid of the word - celebrities of the local underground. The CD re-release of the album, concerts in large and small venues in Belarus and Moscow, a lengthy interview in Black Curse zine, after all - now the average Belarusian metalhead al least knows about VERWÜSTUNG, even if he never heard their music.
Mad energy, full dedication, simple image and unexpected, but always pleasant covers of the classic songs are always presented at VERWÜSTUNG gigs. When I first heard the band live, I decided for myself that the studio recording in this case is in a losing position. I love “The Lash ov NIHIL”, but now, after almost 4 years, I can articulate more clearly what its main drawback is: a small confusion, inconsistency, which in the live version always succesfully masked by the volume and active manner of performance. I will return again to the practice of comparisons with ŠMIERCIEŠLAU, although it is no longer relevant. Radzim has the ability to endow songs with the most important feature that unites almost all of my favorite thrash albums. This is “fluidity”. The riffs cling to each other, the change of fragments occurs smoothly, so that the music seems to carry you on its wings from the beginning to the end of the track. There were a couple of such tracks on “The Lash ov NIHIL” - for example, the starting one - but in general the album was full of abrupt tempo changes. This, of course, demonstrates the excellent skills of playing, but at the same time makes the brain stumble.
The main achievement of “Gospel ov Fury” for me is that it managed to get rid of this problem. Compositions have become noticeably more consistent, the transition from one riff to another now is absolutely logical. At the same time all the other advantages are carefully preserved, and some are even multiplied. The speeds are still high, the aggression is radiant, as if from a cracked nuclear reactor, and only scorched earth remains behind. There is also a graceful balance between thrash-till-death attitude and seriousness. The album resembles an insane dance on the stinking bones of the blazing world; everything dies? great, let's celebrate the Apocalypse! In short, no major changes compared with the debut, and this, of course, is good. The manner of playing / singing, the technical level - all this remains the same. However, I noticed a couple of cool guitar solos, which, it seems, were not presented on the previous album. Or I just forgot. Witnesses of the VERWÜSTUNG concerts who heard “Dissolution” and “Hellfire Rock’n’Roll” already know what to expect. The lyrical component reflects the musical: almost in equal proportions, madness and reflections on interesting topics are combined. In this regard, “Gospel ov Fury” is smarter than debut, where, as I recall, the texts were more in the vein of “Impulse to Kill” - a song dedicated to the honored chess player Alexander Pichushkin.
One more thing that I would like to reflect on is sound. As far as I remember, the musicians mentioned that making it became a big problem, and I believe that they are not completely satisfied with the result. I have a feeling that VERWÜSTUNG has not yet found its sound. owever, what should be the sound, I myself do not know. The sound of “Gospel ov Fury”, in my opinion, is quite good, but a little dry and colorless. However, the dirtier “The Lash ov NIHIL” also didn’t sound perfect. The classic black thrash sound a la NIFELHEIM is clearly not suitable here. Perhaps, it is worth to use more low frequencies, add a loud, rolling death metal rumble on drums? Because “Gospel ov Fury”, as well as the debut, sounds much better alive, even if we are talking about the club “Brugge”, the acoustics of which is complete bullshit.
Finally, of course, about the physical edition of the album, and here we have a candidate to win in the nomination “the most beautiful Belarusian release of the last N years”. The album was released in A5 digibook format that looks wild, almost like a real book. Importantly, the design style is made in the vein of the previous album. Each song has its own unique illustration, and the overall design concept is subject to the idea of the “Gospel of Fury”. Simple, like everything that is genuine. Details on a video. In Russia, you can order an album in Thou Shalt Kill! distro. In Belarus - at Possession Prods.