Assassins In The House Of God
REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/09/2007
Oh no! A scary cover of an evil-looking priest with a skull instead of a face in a church with evil mysterious signs on either side of this scary priest! Heaven, and you for that matter, should be wary of this band.
If you are a fan of Slayer, you should be happy and rejoice. All Out War is available to you if Slayer's catalog is not enough. The band employs many of the same techniques Slayer does to get their point across that, well, the world is imperfect.
Imperfection seems like the word to describe All Out War. The band delivers the message -- we are peeved at the world -- with the by-now cliche hardcore yelling/screaming. Vocalist Mike Score seems to lose his voice on each track. His hoarse shout style gets annoying as this release progresses. Other members of the band also pay plenty of homage to Slayer, from drummer Lou Iuzzini's cymbal rolls and insanely fast tom fills a la Dave Lombardo through guitarists Jim Antonelli and Jim Bremer playing thrash metal licks without a lot of flash.
Both of these characteristics punctuate the title track and "Behind The Crescent And The Cross." There is an obvious tip of the hat to Slayer's "Angel Of Death" when Score sings "Slow death as their lives decay." Even the guitar solo and melody cater to the Slayer. "Into The Arms Of Annihilation" and, especially, "Glorified In Deceit" tune the guitars low and employ tom runs and quite tasty double bass from Iuzzini to control the tempo.
The highlights of this release are "Drenched In Defeat" and "The Angels Of Genocide." "Drenched" kicks off with rumbling double bass and is a workout for Iuzzini. The song collapses into a half-time feel that evolves into a satisfying mid-tempo groove. They revisit the double bass driving tempo a couple of different times in this release. All Out War uses this technique on other songs on this release but it's on "Drenched" where it sounds like they got all the pieces together. And with "Angels," Antonelli and Bremer showcase their talent. The driving tempo propels this song as it begins but the use of dynamics -- "loud" and "louder" -- and tempo fluctuations makes this song insanely well-written.
All Out War could be a better band if they found a way to identify themselves and more creatively pay homage to their heroes. This material is just too similar to Slayer to be judged as original or worthy of a lot of time.