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Review: 'High Command'
'Beyond the Wall of Desolation'   

-  Label: 'Southern Lord'
-  Genre: 'Thrash Metal' -  Release Date: '27th September 2019'

Our Rating:
Remember when Ministry were good? Opinion varies as to precisely when they lost it, but that ‘Psalm 69’ broke ground in smashing its way onto MTV almost indisputably represents a peak. For my money, the slower, heavier, ant utterly cheerless ‘Filth Pig’ is the album that really hits the mark, being dark, oppressive, and relentless. Thereafter, they’ve been patchy at best. With the arrival of ‘Beyond the Wall of Desolation’, High Command announce their arrival as the new Ministry.

This eight-track album is relentlessly brutal, an industrial/thrash hybrid with all the attitude. They blast in on ‘Inexorable Darkness’ with dirty industrial-strength metal chugging riffery played at pace that calls to Mind ‘Just One Fix’ and ‘Jesus Built my Hotrod’. The guitars have a harsh brightness to them that sets your teeth on edge, and every aspect of the composition and production is deigned to deliver maximum abrasion.

If the vocals lurch into darkest black metal and the riffs grind and blast black, with some wild solos over the top of the relentless four-chord thrashes, the album as a whole retains a grating industrial metal edge, not to mention a devastating bleakness. And ultimately, we find what lies behind the wall: an endless and tempestuous sea of fury-filled devastation.

  author: Christopher Nosnibor

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