CRAVEN IDOL is unashamedly old school. Both their initial EP and the debut album Towards Eschaton are brimming with riffs and attitude and recent interviews for their new record The Shackles Of Mammon have seen the bad spouting their admiration for acts such as BATHORY, SODOM as well as CANDLEMASS and MANILLA ROAD leading to one suspecting that these Black/Thrash oriented Brit’s are less concerned with genre tags than they are with making kickass music.
And from the very off you’d be proved right. Opener Pyromancer begins with a scream before smashing straight into a killer riff and tearing through its two and a half minute run time in what feels like half that. Clearly CRAVEN IDOL wanted to kick your face in straight away and make no apologies for it as they continue into the second track A Ripping Strike. A slightly slower paced song that loses none of the aggression in being so as it pounds through with riff’s and guitar solo’s coming thick and fast between S. Vrath’s shrieks.
Black Flame Divination is introduced with a bass solo before tearing into a fast paced riff sure to induce violence in crowds the world over. A chorus is roared out halfway through the song with the shrieks this time being elicited from the guitar as it’s played with an aggressive passion. The Trudge is one of two longer tracks on this album and makes use of the chanting choirs that CRAVEN IDOL’s sister act SCYTHIAN had on their recent output. Once again the sheer quality of the riffs on offer here steals the show but the longer runtime allows the band to demonstrate that they do have the musical chops to write something more complicated and do it well.
Beginning the second half of the album is Dashed To Death which could easily have found itself on the bands debut record Towards Eschaton with its blend of barely contained aggression and melody. The following track Mammon Est on the other hand would have seemed slightly out of place, such is the growth that has occurred in making the band more mature songwriters. The lyrics here deal with the title theme of the album, the vices of man and the demon of avarice, Mammon.
The Hunger again sees a track introduced with drums that refuse to let up even for an instant and which have driven this album through at a ferocious pace. Like most of the track on offer here it seems far shorter than its actual length driven by riffs and those unrelenting drums before closing with a brief interlude before the albums final track Tottering Cities of Men begins. The second of the longer tracks on offer on the record, it begins slowly at an almost doomy pace before livening up and delivering more of the same catchy thrashing goodness that the band have offered all album long. The track ends with an apocalyptic fade out, appropriate for what the listener has just endured and the albums underlying theme.
CRAVEN IDOL have delivered on the promise of their previous works and then some. The old school attitude of focusing on aggression and violence over any “conventions to genre” that has dominated The Shackles Of Mammon and worked to its favour by giving it an identify and placing it over the sea of clones, tributes and imitators who fail to bring anything new to the table these days. This is the real deal.
The Shackles of Mammon is set for release on April 14th via Dark Descent Records.
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