The Shackles of Mammon
(Dark Descent Records)
Dark Descent Records has been a leading the old school death metal charge for a while now (their string of excellence has been mighty impressive), so why not incorporate other extreme avenues? UK-based Craven Idol do just that with their staggeringly great sophomore record, embracing a whole host of influences to create a truly incendiary listen. The primary thrust is blackened thrash, but threads of crust and death are also apparent. However, like the best of this throwback boom, Craven Idol never feel fully indebted to even their more obvious influences; instead, The Shackles of Mammon utilizes them as a springboard, sort of a canvas to paint their own magnum opus on top of.
Oh, and this Hellishly good record is certainly very close to a masterpiece. With a pitch-perfect raw yet clear production and fiery sound, Craven Idol’s multi-faceted sound shines throughout these eight tunes. It’s extreme and ravenous, but these thrashers never stray too far away from an excellent riff or solo. This is the type of retro metal that, almost from the get go, makes you grasp at invisible oranges and throw up those horns. It’s metal in the oldest sense, yet what Craven Idol understand is what made the classics stand out. Therefore, there’s never a sense of copying and pasting riffs and patterns. Instead, the essence of the legends is transcribed into something that works in 2017. It’s not modern, necessarily, but it’s something that is uniquely the band’s own, which is mighty impressive. Those looking for one of the best metal records of the year should do themselves a favor and worship at this Idol.