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Shadow Music Ryan Harding Review by
Ryan Harding
No Fashion

"Like True Metal should be, Raw and Brutal" without "any romantic bullshit!" VASSAGO declares on the sleeve of their KNIGHTS FROM HELL album. This is the product of LORD BELIAL members Sin and Pepa. While LORD BELIAL knows how to use the accelerator, you won’t be prepared for the shocking extremity that VASSAGO pulls off. Any critics who fail to point out the supreme show of force on KNIGHTS FROM HELL are lost, agents of false metal. The guy from TERRORIZER wouldn’t understand brutality if his mother was sodomized with a jackhammer. This slab of raging speed is what I live for, over-the-top savagery not for trendy ears or soft minds. "Sign of Vassago" opens, with a surprising little nod to BLASPHEMY-styled riff (these show up now and again).

The first blast of the album is standard, and you’re thinking, "Well. Not bad." This leads to a more interesting thrashing moment with near-blast tempo (more bands must use this, your DEATHWITCHES and HEMLOCKS are too few and far between), and then comes the segue to the true heart of VASSAGO - insane, inhuman, incinerating blasting somewhat reminiscent of the death/grind Holland acts CONSOLATION and NEMBRIONIC, but faster, like a fully automated AK-47. The message of destruction continues with "Total War Brings Total Death," "Thou Shall Kill!!!," "Destroyer," and "Abysmic Downfall to the Kingdom Where I Will Rule Eternally." Never believe you’ve heard the fastest moment of the album, as somehow they find a way to increase the stakes as it progresses. The most mild track is "Anal Fistfuck," which should tell you that "mild" here doesn’t exactly compare to "mild" on an EVERCLEAR album.

Not without a sense of humor, "Agent 666" opens with a little Dragnet type sample before the holocaust comes down. The addition of double bass to the fury here just makes you want to stockpile an arsenal and go hunting humans. The guitars borrow from the best of death and black metal styles at their fastest. You get 15 tracks, 32 minutes of pure fucking Armageddon. To question this is to pledge allegiance to weakness. To not have it if it may sound like you need it is a crime against your well being. To own it is a reflection of a true metal warrior.


Perplex SkullPerplex SkullPerplex SkullPerplex SkullPerplex Skull

This review copyright 2000 E.C.McMullen Jr.

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