Anyone fortunate enough to have witnessed Bestial Raids live is left in no doubt that the band’s main asset is their drummer, Desolator. And while their sophomore effort (I can’t remember being very taken with the first) is excellent, it’s hard not to be left with the sense that their skin-beater has been left somewhat shortchanged in the mix when it comes to their recorded output. The good news is that ‘Master Satan’s Witchery’ is unquestionably their best record to date; the bad news is I still want the fucking drums higher in the mix, damn it!
Seeing this Polish horde play in the flesh is a bone rattling experience, and they have yet to quite capture that manic energy in recorded form. But then this album does come pretty close, and in their pursuit of progress, the band have sacrificed none of the bone-headed savagery that made their previous work so appealing. The recording has the murky obscurity required of all death metal, but just enough clarity to hear Necron’s swirling vortex of riffs, amidst the maelstrom of the insane fills and rolls that permeate this album’s exemplary drumming (see ‘Excrements Of Creation’).
The variations of tempo are a welcome progression, the mid-paced parts of ‘Descending The Thantifaxah’ guarantee this will be a fan favourite at live sets to come, although my personal favourite track is the closing dirge of ‘Darkness Visible’. The typically brilliant art from Marko Marov depicting Lucifer hammering the world with his fist perfectly encapsulates the spirit of this very satisfying album of Archgoat-worshipping death/black metal – a consistent and powerful work that was worth the wait.
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