Review – Desecrator: Red Steel Nation

By -
  • Bio: n/a
  • Label: Self-release
  • Release Date: January 22nd, 2015
  • Genre: Crossover Thrash, Thrash Metal
  • Website: Visit Website
  • Rating (out of 10):

Look up the Desecrator Desecrator and you will find a slew of groups, active and not, adorning this moniker. This Melbourne, Australian version is one of the more recent formations to utilize this name. Formed in 2008 with remaining founding member Riley Strong, the four-piece – now composed of guitarist Scottie Anning, The Plague Black bassist Paul Tipping, and Netherealm drummer Jared Robert – has a fairly limited discography at this point. Within it is a 2010 self-titled EP, a live album a year later, and a follow-up EP titled Down to Hell in 2013. For 2015, however, the band unleashed a brand new single titled “Red Steel Nation”, which has been panned pretty band since it was released. But is “Red Steel Nation” an abomination to the Thrash Metal community, or is it actually a exciting breath of fresh air?

Aside the band boasting an already overly used name, their sound in general isn’t anything all that unique either. As it stands, their live album, Live Till Death, can be streamed in full on their official Bandcamp account, and much of it just sounds like pure early Gwar worship. If you were to replace Riley Strong’s vocals with that of the late Dave Brockie, you’d have a poor man’s version of the latter’s pioneering group during its more Punk oriented days. “Red Steel Nation” does separate the band just a bit from that presence, but, sadly, not in that good a way.

“Red Steel Nation” just sounds like a compilation of various riffs thrown together to make a new song, as if material composed during their Down to Hell sessions that didn’t make the cut and, instead of building on them, were thrown against the wall to see what sticks. The outcome: One randomly changing passage or guitar solo after another behind the vocal proclamation of the track’s title against even more randomness in the form of additional lyrics that seem to serve no real purpose other than to assert the “metal worship” angle before finally caving to a war-themed march set up through the drums at the end. What’s worse is that the very conclusion outlined just now would have made for a better introduction. If you examine this one going backwards, it seems the group composed it in reverse, though it still doesn’t quite make things any better.

DesecratorFor a brand new single, Red Steel Nation stands as an incredibly boring offering composed of pieces that would better suit being expanded on instead of crammed together into one enthusiastic expulsion of Crossover Thrash hero worship. There’s very little to the performance to keep the listener interested, including the fairly crisp and sharp production and mastering that quickly dilutes the impact of the already unimpressive coupling of mild spontaneity that is this brand new creation. Hopefully this is just a one-off experiment and not a reflection of the group’s direction in the future, as it simply doesn’t make you want to look into the band any further. With little positive staying power to the listener, Red Steel Nation is quite the let down on nearly every front, a shame for a group that needs something dynamic in order to stand out in a world where even their own name is extremely common place.

DesecratorDigital review copy of this release provided by Desecrator via ClawHammer PR.