Bands like Trivium and Avenged Sevenfold may have set the new standard for getting famous by shamelessly copping the styles, looks and riffs of their influences, but for once here is a band who lay their inspirations on the table without resorting to direct imitation. While their debut effort was stilted to say the least, this latest outing from Year Of Desolation finds the band blending elements of thrash, grind and death metal into an album that retains enough of it's originators traits to sidestep the cliche metalcore catch-all approach.
A true rarity, much of this outing harkens back to a time before the media and commercial success began to taint metals more extreme side. From top to bottom, Year Of Desolation proceed at a breakneck pace that reaches virtuosic proportions as vicious riffs and a stern rhythm section set the stage for all sorts of mayhem. With an approach that is musically proficient and inherently diverse enough to appeal to old-school metal heads; the band still have enough modern grit to ensure that at least some of the Myspace generation will also take some interest.
Whether it be the stirring riffs and their soaring harmonic counterparts, the feats of technical wizardry or the unfettered malevolence with which the band express themselves, resistance seems futile. True, those who don't have a taste for early 90's extreme metal bloodlust will likely not find as much enjoyment here as others. Furthermore, those expecting anything remotely commercial will be left in the cold. That said, what a difference a year can make - or in this case, roughly two years.
(4 / 5)