Review: “Thou Shalt Drown In The Blood Of Thy Children” by Spankraght

The album is a concept album and tells the story of mankind battling a dark force. This force has come down to earth to punish man for years of neglect and disorderly conduct. By eliminating one generation, it hopes to set an example and restore earth’s balance. But mankind will not go down without a fight, not knowing they will only worsen their fate. We had a cool album title and just needed a story, so for those looking for a deeper meaning behind this all, we’re sorry. We’re just here to entertain you.” // Spankraght

Featuring an all star cast of guest musicians including Zak Tell of Clawfinger fame, Spankraght part crowd funded their debut release “Thou Shalt Drown In The Blood Of Thy Children” to success while also dropping a mod for the classic video game Doom.  The dark atmosphere of “Synopsis” is built upon a faux news broadcast with white noise, sirens and gunfire in the distance before a creepy spoken word and 8 bit synth is broken by deliberately primitive programming and riffs that give you the impression of being trapped in an early 90s video game. It’s reminiscent of the soundscape that Trent Renzor created for “Quake” and has that nostalgic sense of fun to it. Indeed any Metalhead gamer of the right age will be adorned with a big smile after the opening. Continuing the vibe with the nihilistic “Reset Mankind” which bounces along nicely with the kind of industrial sonics that German’s Die Krupps made their name from, while having a life of its own. The riffs are rhythmic grooves aged in tone with use of older equipment while the programmed drum loops have that mechanical bite with none of the give of the real thing. They’re stark and the closing breakdown with its Marilyn Manson overtones is great fun. “Carnivale” starts with the 90s Industrial Metal tones with the computerised female voice “Observe and learn” ringing out before some helter skelter riffs that sound like a Gothic fitness work out. We joke, but you can’t help but move to this and it’s purposeful dating gives it an edge you wouldn’t expect and the minimalist lyrics help.

Mid album track “Hoop” begins with the sound of a Zippo lighter being used to light a cigarette before a spoken word introduces a lighter synth pattern. Breaking that with the arrival of the guitar work, you’re left with the soundscape to the endless walk down empty tunnels in the original Doom, while waiting for an enemy to materialize at any point. A tightly constructed largely Instrumental affair, it uses the same tempo shifts as a video game sound track would to maintain your attention with gentle twists and turns. “Resilient” sees the arrival of Zak Tell and brings vocals to the table alongside vinyl scratch work and adrenaline pumping anthemic guitar work. The presence of a solo is as unexpected as it joyous. Tell and fellow guest Yves Janssens go head to head, intertwining their vocals to great effect and the end product could be a Clawfinger remix as much as a Spankraght song, such is the quality on offer. “Slaughtered” offers up more industrial loops with a relentless battery of programmed drum sounds without ever being stark or cold. The guitar work is solid and not as mechanical as it could have been while the vocals add that human touch that is eerily absent on the intrumental tracks. Eleven minute closer “Exodus” provides you with a mission akin to the film Babylon Babies whereby a girl child must be taken to the overseer before it kicks in full throttle, cramming in as many little nuances and sounds as possible. Odd drum sounds and tempo shifts add to the spectrum and your imagination is the only boundary as it plays out. Again the lead flourish is an unexpected joy that plays off against the synth sounds to great effect [7/10]

Track listing

1. Synopsis (ft. Marc Fransen, Wim Wilri)
2. Reset Mankind (ft. Franky DSVD (Channel Zero) / Mario Cesar (PatriarcH)/ Xavier DS (Saille))
3. Carnivale (feat. Evy Verbruggen (Elusion))
4. Hoop (feat. Axl Peleman)
5. Resilient (feat. Yves Janssens (Sonic Bastardz) and Zak Tell (Clawfinger))
6. Slaughtered (feat. PJ (A Thousand Sufferings)/ Droeee (Diva Muffin from Brazil) / Dietwin E. Elbers (ex-Herfst))
7. Exodus (feat Alex Agnew)

Thou Shalt Drown In The Blood Of Thy Children” by Spankraght will be released on 21st February

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