Siege Of Power – “Warning Blast” (Metal Blade Records)
You’ve gotta hand it to Chris Reifert, he’s certainly a busy fellow what with his involvement in Autopsy, Violation Wound, Abscess and Painted Doll. As if seemingly unsatiated with his lot, now comes his latest obscenity in Siege Of Power – named after Napalm Death’s song no less! Opting solely for vocals this time around, the rest of the band is drawn from the cream of the Dutch death metal underground in guitarist Paul Baayens (Asphyx, ex-Hail of Bullets, Thanatos), bassist Theo van Eekelen (ex-Hail of Bullets, ex-Houwitser, ex-Grand Supreme Blood Court) and drummer Bob Bagchus (ex-Asphyx, Soulburn, ex-Grand Supreme Blood Court). That said, Reifert being Reifert, “Warning Blast” is no one trick pony. While certainly death metal, it also harks back to the raw, experimental sound of early Carnivore and also touched by the crust of Amebix, as such producing a visceral mix of death doom with a very strong punkish vibe that is certain to not leave you unmoved. With most of the songs being 1 or 2 minute blitzes, this is a fast album and indeed, it was recorded quickly too, capturing the energy and spontaneity of moment although in the seasoned hands of these veterans, you’d think you were listening to a well planned out release. Reifert’s vocals are as hoarse and hateful as ever, although this time there’s also a haunting feel to them, while the rest of the band absolutely shred and bludgeon their way through the 20 tracks, albeit with class, plenty of hooks and as such, something of a catchy affair. With its slow deliberate riff intro, ‘Warning Blast’ starts like SOD before a massive wave of slow, dirty guitars and twisted melodies literally slither all over you, oozing filth as Reifert’s ugly drawls sound like he’s saying them into your ears – ugh! Heading into Napalm Death territory with added Bolt Thrower like grimness on ‘Mushroom Cloud Affair’ the cacophonic, out’ve tuned guitar could’ve been birthed during a Hellhammer recording session, while ‘Violence In The Air’ is slower straight metal with hard chopping riffs and whirring riffola as Reifert screams and drawls obscenities insanely across it! An outlier at just over 4 minutes, ‘The Cold Room’ is plodding with thick regurgitated doom death riffs and guttural vocals mixed with dark, epic sections of cried out vocals and wailing guitars reminiscent of Primordial which throws an interesting curve ball into the overall foray. In anyone else’s hands this would have probably been a disaster, but Chris Reifert is an underground legend, thus making Siege Of Power yet another monster shell to add to his already eye popping arsenal.