Have you ever wondered what a battering ram to the brain would feel like? Or ever considered what out of body experiences would occur being reborn as the antichrist? Maybe you believe curiosity didn’t kill the cat and crave a satanic trip to the abyss. Whatever your twisted fantasies may be, you’ll find your poison on THE TROOPS OF DOOM’s debut album Antichrist Reborn.
Whilst 2020’s The Rise Of Heresy and 2021’s The Absence Of Light EPs unearthed rocks of potential, Antichrist Reborn unleashes death metal’s latest diamond. Featuring ex-SEPULTURA guitarist Jairo ‘Tormentor’ Guedz, as well as members of ENTERO, NECROMANCER, SOUTHERN BLACKLIST and MYSTERIIS, THE TROOPS OF DOOM use their years of experience to delve deep into death metal’s primal past.
Dethroned Messiah’s atmospheric crackling comes from the depths of hell, as tribal percussion permeates your heartbeat. Exploding into bludgeoning double-bass blast beats, their twisted take on palm-muted riffs and shuddering growls bursts through your chest like that iconic scene in Alien. From here on out, it’s a masterclass in death metal’s DNA. Whilst its creators come from the school of Brazilian thrash metal, THE TROOPS OF DOOM playbook pulls more from their European counterparts: teutonic thrash and blackened death metal. Imagine if Nergal and Mille Petrozza formed a band, and you’ll find yourself thinking of Antichrist Reborn.
Drummer Alexandre Oliveira is the devil incarnate, delivering an album-wide performance that practically powers their aural assault. Early highlight Far From Your God dishes out blast beats that hit like battering rams to your brain, whilst A Quada drives home drum beats against Alex Kafer’s growls like it’s battling a banshee. Pacing has been a wormhole for death metal bands to suck themselves into since time immemorial. Whilst most of their contemporaries make it feel like your ears are being power-drilled to oblivion, THE TROOPS OF DOOM slip in melodic power solos and hearty hooks between their unrelenting brutality to ensure the pace doesn’t pummel you to a pulp.
However, they’re not perfect at pacing. Whilst there’s nothing wrong with instrumental interludes Grief and Apocalypse MMXXII, their chiming, echoing pianos and haunting atmospherics are rendered redundant with their placing. Alter Of Delusion is a fast and furious blackened death metal beast that doesn’t halt for Grief, nor does Pray Into The Abyss, leaving Grief to fall flat as the album’s most pointless part.
Pray Into The Abyss diverges into LAMB OF GOD’s Walk With Me In Hell territory, twisting downtuned, dark, and deeply guttural spoken word with a maddening mesh of thrash that punches you in the throat. Elsewhere, Preacher’s Paradox mixes marching band riffs with a rotating rhythm section that spins you round like a circus of doom, whilst The Rebellion and Deserters From Paradise could easily pass for KREATOR B-sides and rarities – rollicking deathrash cuts that hammer it home.
Pushing the pacing aside, Antichrist Reborn is a debut album all death metal bands, no matter what corner of the genre they specialise in, should aspire to make. If THE TROOPS OF DOOM continue to progress this way, there’ll be few who can top them.
Antichrist Reborn is set for release on April 15th via Alma Mater Records.
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