Vorfeed.net B.M. Reviews - Spearhead - Decrowning the Irenarch

Artist: Spearhead
Album Title: Decrowning the Irenarch
Label: Invictus

This is the second album from Spearhead, a U.K. band playing black/death metal.

The production on this album is rather clear. The guitar tone is high and cutting, and the snarled, start-and-stop vocals have a touch of echo now and again. The bass is surprisingly audible, even when everything's blasting, which is a nice touch. The drumming on this record is a huge improvement over the last one -- the drums on this are simply overwhelming, a non-stop barrage packed with brilliant fills!

I haven't heard many martial-sounding metal albums better than this one -- these guys effortlessly out-Angelcorpse the last Angelcorpse record! The sheer variety and savagery of the riffing on offer is astounding. The vocals are also quite unique: the odd, harsh vocal delivery is the perfect complement to the guitars, and the occasional use of double-tracking makes them sound even better. The lyrics live up to their promise, too, providing fierce and thoughtful verses inspired by history, war, and philosophy. Beneath it all are Vortigern's incredible drum-work and tons of memorable, stirring guitar lines. I hear lots of Bolt Thrower in the solos, and there's more than a bit of old Morbid Angel in the rhythm guitars, but this record is powerfully original; between the unhinged vocals and equally astounding songwriting, Decrowning the Irenarch doesn't sound like anything I've heard before.

Fans of Revenge, Axis of Advance, Bolt Thrower, Angelcorpse, Sanguis Imperem, and the like should try this record; you will not be disappointed. Decrowning the Irenarch earns my highest recommendations.

Standout tracks: "Decrowning the Irenarch", "Road to Austerlitz", "Brotherhood of Arms"