(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Lead Journalist/Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
Now that “blackened thrash” is a more-than-legit genre of music, there are numerous entities providing aural assaults of it for our perusal. One that recently landed on my metallic radar are Worcester, Massachusetts’ High Command who will be issuing their 2-song 7”, titled “The Primordial Void“, on February 9th via Haftvad Records.
The upcoming offering appears to possess a conceptual theme and is the follow-up to the band’s 2016 demo, The Secartha Demos. The story contained on the new record is the tale of Dikeptor, an ostracized hero that undertakes an ambitious quest to return a cursed sword to the void from whence it originated.
Intriguing, no? Vocalist Kevin Fitzgerald elaborates: “I knew I wanted to continue the story I began on the demo. After hearing these two songs come together, I was inspired by how cold and dark the riffs sounded. I wanted the lyrics to reflect that, so I expanded on the frigid, unforgiving landscape of Secartha. The end result is something barbaric and powerful the listener can escape in.”
Escape you can indeed too as the High Command are an ably-bodied unit that more than capably provide an intense soundtrack to this adventure. With these two tracks, “The Primordial Void” and “Labyrinth Of Pain“, the band heaves razor-sharp thrash metal without mercy.
Slicing guitars, crushing drums and ravaging rhythms pound and pound away as the throat-wrenched vocals narrate the crossover destruction. Brief moments of melodic doom introduce us to the title track before things are obliterated with the sinister shred of the ax. Things quickly accelerate and soon enough a maddening frenzy of metal is whipping and writhing all about.
It gets even more mercilessly relentless as “Labyrinth Of Pain” goes into a berserker rage of heavy metal mania. Fast paced tempo and wide-freaking-open, this cut hits the bone with its furious rampage, only slowing down a bit for some breathers here and there. This is neck-wrecking insanity at its uttermost finest.