Altars - Paramnesia (Blood Harvest/Nuclear Winter Records)

Lovely Aussie (blackened?) death metal...
Release Date: 
30 Sep 2013 - 11:30pm

Again my heart is swelled with joy as another Australian metal band releases some quality music for our listening pleasure. This time it's the three piece Altars providing the metal community with some excellent death (with more than a passing touch of black) metal. You'll have a few seconds to draw breath and brace yourself before Mare carries you kicking and screaming to the sabbat. Goodness gracious! The drumming courtesy of Alan Cadman (the first man?) is a real delight and the slower sections of the opening track give him plenty of room to get creative with his percussion. A damn fine treat only enhanced by the inhuman vocal/roars coming out of Cale Schmidt's mouth (he also does double duty on bass). There's definitely a black metal edge to Mare but irrespective of it being death/blackened death or whatever, it's a beast of a tune.

Oof! Then you get slapped by the intense yet brief stylings of Terse, with it's sharp guitar harmonies delivered by Lewis Fischer - and then it's suddenly Khaz'neh, which keeps up the heaviness while throwing in some great time changes. Solid production allows every instrument to shine without being overshadowed. The combination of the heavy chord and higher melodies grab your attention while the vocals are growled with sufficient vehemence to make you fear for your soul. Also there's a sweet little drum solo too (and an excellent guitar solo). 

Three tunes in and there's no sign of slowing down with Solar Barge keeping the speedo at 'fucking fast' - it lurches about without ever losing intensity. It howls. It cuts. It's a top tune, indeed. Lesser reviewers may have demanded a slower track at this point but not me; I'm off my chops on the juicy madness that Altars are forcing down my neck, and I'm loving it. When it's over, I'm left exhausted but ecstatic.

The remaining four tracks are of an equally high calibre so my advice is go and get this album now. It's an instant classic and it also makes an excellent soundtrack to all manner of nefarious activities. Now when are these fellows touring?