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Beyond The Help Of Prayers

Italy Country of Origin: Italy

2. The Blackest Of Omens
3. The Rite Of The Goat
4. Summon The Evil Lords
5. At Our Master's Behest
6. Malicious... Seditious...
7. Regret Every Breath
8. Die On Monday
9. Beyond The Help Of Prayers

Review by Felix on December 9, 2021.

Hot shit! Cool riffs! Sorry, I am confused. Just let me explain, the promo is speaking about “a refreshing blast of old air” and to my great surprise it does not make a promise the band can’t keep. This classic three-piece gives us riffs Whipstriker forgot to record and it also does not shy away from Celtic Frost riffing, just hear the third minute of the great 'Summon The Evil Lords'. By the way, did I already say that I only will buy albums of bass/guitar/drum trios in my next life? And it goes without saying that only the bass player is allowed to do the lead vocals! Anything else is firstly betrayal on the pure doctrine and secondly much too sophisticated for me.

Bunker 66 celebrate their simple – but never one-dimensional, never primitive and only rarely predictable – way of blackened speed and thrash metal very competently. Their approach has an affinity for the kind of punk Warfare displayed on “Pure Filth” long ago (might have been shortly after WW II). Speaking of punk, the strangest element on 'Beyond The Help Of Prayers' are a few parts with melodic, clean vocals, for example in the actually straight and aggressive 'At Our Master’s Behest'. Are the Italians the Bad Religion of black thrash? I admit that these sections contribute an original tone, but I prefer the more typical parts with well hung riffs. So well hung that they almost stink… but only almost! 'Malicious…. Seditious…', a real highlight, offers one of these riffs. It alone carries the whole piece into the high grading ranges with ease. Moreover, it makes the old school admirer Fenriz in faraway Kolbotn turn green with envy, but that’s just in passing. The partly galloping 'The Blackest Of Omens' is a similarly designed killer with another fantastic mid-tempo riff and a stormy high-velocity outburst.

But don’t care too much about the details, the band does not either. Bunker 66 manage all challenges and their compositions even do not lose strength or energy when it comes to one of the sporadic solos. Especially the ones of the title track and the excellently titled 'Die On Monday' are expressive. (Thank God I was born on a Friday, so I could start into life with a relaxing weekend. Only after that it became exhausting, but how!) Anyway, it’s more than just the music I enjoy here. The direct no frills production does the compositions justice and the piss-off-attitude of the trio adds value to the overall impression as well. Great album, not only because it spreads the same vibes like the excellent debut of Surge Assault who also made a sustainable Italian statement in terms of blackened thrash. Hot shit!

Rating: 8.5 out of 10