A blast of blackened, grinding and twisted violence…
Released on 2 December 2016 through Grathila Records and reviewed by Jason Guest
From the Philippines, black/grind Kratornas have been at it a long time. Rising out of the ashes of the short-lived Zamora in 1995, this one-man project of Zachariah has released numerous demos, splits, EPs, compilations as well as two albums, the first, Over The Fourth Part of the World, appearing in 2007 and the next, The Corroding Age of Wounds, in 2009. Since that second album, Kratornas has been relatively quiet – yes, even by the standards of the underground – and released only the Deathpuzzle EP in 2012. But here we are now in 2016 and Kratornas are back in time for Christmas with Devoured by Damnation, the lead video being the (not-at-all) yuletide-themed ‘Dead Burning Christ’.
Where all of the previous releases have been the work of maiman Zachariah equipped with nought but a drum machine, a much bruised guitar and a much battered bass, and a very ravaged throat through which the dealings of the devil himself spewed forth, here he is joined by a real drummer made of all things flesh and charged with all things nasty and naughty and nefarious. And all the better for it. Ten tracks, the album is a ruthless and relentless barrage of blackened grind brutality, and while a drum machine may do the job, bringing in a real drummer gives the tracks that torn flesh and broken bone touch that imbues them with much more depth and feeling.
While ‘Spit On God’ is awash in rabid riffs and maniacal lead work and ‘Dead Burning Christ’ is a head-down, knuckles-up salvo, ‘Archangels Of Destruction’ shifts the tempo up, tightens up the intensity and hammers down the dementia. ‘Deluge After Massacre’ delivers more of the same intense insanity with ‘Blood Of The Devil’ and ‘Evil Is Reborn’ bringing further fuel to the fire. So far, so full on. And so it goes for the title track, ‘Cadavers Of Gods’, ‘Huios Diabolus’ and ‘World Within Demons’, all of them burning with wrath, rancour and rage.
Not one bad track among its ten, it’s ‘Spit on God’ and the title track that stand out. The first is because it sets the album up and the second because this is where the band nails it. Like most albums of this ilk, the chaotic and cacophonous splendour soon becomes predictable and there is many a moment when one or two riffs from one track could be easily interchanged with those of any other. But that doesn’t really matter because this is a seriously intense album with annihilation at its blackened core. Well-produced and well-executed, if it’s a blast of unremitting and twisted violence that you’re after, you’d be hard pushed to find anything more injurious than this. Recommended.
7 out of 10
- Spit On God
- Dead Burning Christ
- Archangels Of Destruction
- Deluge After Massacre
- Blood Of The Devil
- Evil Is Reborn
- Devoured By Damnation
- Cadavers Of Gods
- Huios Diabolus
- World Within Demons