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"American Death Thrash" (CD)

Enfuneration - "American Death Thrash" CD cover image

"American Death Thrash" track listing:

Sacrificial Slaughter:
1. Reign of the Hammer
2. 80 Proof Justice
3. Ruthless & Truthless
4. Compound Fracture
5. Acid Reflux

Enfuneration:
6. Insidious Domain
7. Bearing Their Scars
8. Stygian Darkness
9. Endless Suffering
10. Grieving Process Denied

Reviewed by on January 31, 2012

"While the album title aptly describes the music of Sacrificial Slaughter, Enfuneration sticks to a strictly old-school death metal formula."

Sacrificial Slaughter and Enfuneration team up for a (somewhat) misleading titled album, “American Death Thrash.” While the album title aptly describes the music of Sacrificial Slaughter, Enfuneration sticks to a strictly old-school death metal formula. Both bands play pummeling death metal, but there is no mistaking the two. When Enfuneration makes its “insidious” appearance on track six, there is a definite difference of style.

Sacrificial Slaughter offers more in variation of style than Enfuneration, although that doesn’t equate to stronger material. The southern California group creates a fetid stew of grind, death and thrash. Screechy voices combine with guttural growls, forming an annoying cacophony. Death metal choirs work in small pieces, but here we have them in headache-causing proportions. The clicky drums really take away from the impetus of the double bass, which is a shame because other pieces of the kit sound great. On a positive note, their guitar work should get heads banging. If the song title wasn’t enough to catch your attention, “80 Proof Justice” contains killer guitar play. “Ruthless and Truthless” opens with a menacing grove that smoothly transitions into blasting speed. “Compound Fracture” blends Cannibal Corpse-like chords and brief drum flurries with speed metal picking.

Oklahoma’s Enfuneration is much greener than Sacrificial Slaughter, especially when it comes to album output. This is Enfuneration’s first proper release. The five years spent honing their craft definitely paid off. Lead-off track “Insidious Domain” is your standard death metal song. Stop-and-start rhythms give way to hollow-tone solos. Squealing whammy bar solos accentuate the wicked, nefarious mood of each track. The guitar pitch reaches the stars on the opening passage of “Grieving Process Denied.” Low-end chords and Asiatic harmonies lead to Nile comparisons. Middle range vocals allow for lyrical understanding, and the group perfectly meshes tempo changes.

I witnessed Sacrificial Slaughter's live onslaught twice and both times impressed me enough to describe their live performance as an “onslaught.” After hearing this studio outing, I am under the opinion that the band is better in a live setting, although this performance was by no means a wash. I can’t help but make split album reviews a competition between the bands, and this time, Enfuneration certainly scores more points than Sacrificial Slaughter.

Highs: Both artists bring killer guitar licks.

Lows: Sacrificial Slaughter's clicky drums and over-done death metal choirs.

Bottom line: "American Death Thrash" is a decent death metal split featuring stronger material from Enfuneration.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)