Album Title: Satan's Boundaries Unchained
Label: Kneel Before The Master's Throne
This is the first album from Ketzer, a German band playing black/thrash metal.
The production on this album sounds a bit thin, with the emphasis on the high-end. The guitar is crisp and clear, with just the right amount of distortion, and the shouted vocals have a touch of reverb. The bass is just audible beneath everything else, and the drums are also just where they should be in the mix. I can't help but think a bit more low-end would have benefited this album tremendously, though... the production could have used more heft.
In terms of songwriting, Ketzer is somewhere between old Desaster and early Destroyer 666. These are catchy, aggressive, thrashing songs, and for the most part, the whole album is full-speed-ahead. The bands does a great job making each song memorable, though: some of the more epic songs (like "The Fire to Conquer the World", with its headbangable main riff and shout-along gang-vocal section) will get stuck in your head the first time through. "To Each Saint His Candle" is another great song, chock-full of excellent riffing and inspiring vocal lines. As a matter of fact, the lyrics are worth mentioning throughout -- this band manages to pack a ton of feeling and meaning into these songs, so multiple listens will be rewarded...
Other songs are a bit less complicated and more in the straightforward thrashing vein, like "Warlust" and "Inverted Cross". I personally prefer the more epic sound, but these songs are just as good, especially the latter, which is catchy as hell. There's a surprising amount of variety here, considering the style, which is always nice to see. The cover art is worth mentioning, too; this is one of the best-looking cover paintings I've seen in a while. The LP is more than worth getting, as it comes with a huge poster of it!
The last few years have seen lackluster releases from many of the best black/thrash bands, but fortunately, Ketzer is ready to Take This Torch! If you like Desaster, Destroyer 666, Gospel of the Horns, Urn, Nocturnal, Urgrund, etc., you must hear this record. Highly recommended.
Standout Tracks: "The Fire to Conquer the World", "To Each Saint His Candle", "My Triumph"