Immaculate - Atheist Crusade (Stormspell Records) 2010
1. Cross of Nero (5:18)
2. Thrashark (4:48)
3. The Immaculate Dead (4:50)
4. Sanity's Eclipse/Steel of the Missionary (8:39)
5. Atheist Crusade (8:43)
6. Thrash Metal Avenger (3:46)
7. The Apparition (5:48)
8. Gutterthrash (5:12)
There are a ton of new bands out playing thrash metal in 2010. Most seem to hold to the "thrash for thrash sake" creed, many sounding like any number of classic 80's bands, but most sounding like one another. Kreator, Exodus, Slayer, etc. seem to be the popular bands to parody. However, there is far more depth to thrash metal than those handful of bands. Sweden's Immaculate take cure from bands like Agent Steel, Toxik, and Realm. In other words, they play classic speed/thrash metal.
However they also have this tight, technical vibe that will please fans of Voivod, Watchtower, Vektor, etc. "Atheist Crusade" is the band's second album and is eight songs of pure heavy metal delight. The band has sepeed, screaming high-pitched vocals, gang shouts, tight riffs, and a ton of passion. Immaculate are not trying to re-invent the wheel for sure. Their sound is firmly rooted in the 80's, and I would dare say they are darned proud of it. "The Apparition" is a smokin' Fates Warning cover off my personal favorite Fates Warning album "The Spectre Within". The song is a genuine classic and is a great choice of a cover. The seven originals are each as good as the next, with each having various twists and bends that keep the songs interesting. "Sanity’s Eclipse/Steel of the Missionary" is captivating, while "Gutterthrash" and "Thrashark" are pure mosh pit fodder.
As might be expected from the album title, the band spends quite a bit of time criticizing the Christian beliefs, with "Sanity's Eclipse" making the claim that those who have lived their lives as Christians have "wasted your existence, there's no afterlife...". Other themes deal with mythology ("Immaculate Dead") and, of course, the majesty of thrash metal.
As usual with any Stormspell Release, the packaging is outstanding. The spectacular cover art looks like a futuristic version of Frank Frazetta's Death Dealer (used on Molly Hatchet's self-titled release).