DESASTER Strikes on Churches Without Saints

            Germany’s prevailing Blackened-Thrash horde has returned with their next full-length attack titled Churches Without Saints, and this new infliction means DESASTER for the faltering veil of religious sanctity. It’s the first since Tormentor’s departure, with his longtime role behind the drum kit now fully assumed by Hont, and it shows the essence of classic Thrash driving on through boundless shades of riffing darkness. A similar variety of expressions also rage from the elemental dynamics and other arrangements while furthering the atmosphere of this unholy manifestation. These compositions display the enduring vitality of DESASTER, and Churches Without Saints mercilessly calls out the deceptive and hypocritical perversity of a dying institution.

            A foreboding aura approaches on “The Grace of Sin” before the blackened groove of “Learn to Love the Void” takes hold. Visceral thrashing and trills are also wielded as rhythmic shifts launch into double bass and a melodic hook, with bleak progressions flowing beyond. Maniacal laughs convey the possessed spirit of Sataniac’s vocals, and this sinister force is also reflected in the onslaught of classic Thrash that ensues on “Failing Trinity.” Melodic accents and speed riffing alternations rage into blasting fury, and a swinging rhythm appears with sections of heavy gloom before transitioning to the entranced melody of “Exile is Imminent.” Deep bass lines carry its advance into a looming bleakness that persists through various rhythms, and this atmosphere only intensifies with the dreary melody, stormy effects, and resonant gloom of bells on the title track. A somber tone emanates from the procession of tremolo melodies and heavy riffs while sliding notes build toward a closure that simultaneously elevates and imposes doom. The shadows lift for a comparatively light-hearted and upbeat thrashy expression on “Hellputa,” and a soloing exchange heightens it further along with the sounds of carnal gratification.

            Blast beats and tremolo riffs drive the assault on “Sadistic Salvation” while heavy rhythms and various drum arrangements expand into a progression of melodic grooves. The classic Thrash embodiment continues with vicious execution on “Armed Architects of Annihilation (In Clarity for Total Death)” as riffing accelerates and shreds through melodic points with rapid precision, and a solo maximizes on this intensity before returning to bleakness on “Primordial Obscurity.” Blackened melodies proceed through bouts of pummeling blasts and intricate mid-paced fills until despair broods with the arpeggiations of a melancholic transition. Heavy riffing carries the rhythm from this dark passage while regaining a fury that leads to “Endless Awakening.” The height of this quest begins with an acoustic interlude, and thrashy riffs build into a melodic reconjuring of that distinct medieval darkness. The grooving mid-pace shifts to a gallop riff while other melodies progress, and these elements unleash a torrent of blasting and tremolo devastation that charges onward to a decisive end. A cathartic impression is induced by the clean guitars and whispering vocals on “Aus Asche,” which brings the preceding ferocity to a reflective conclusion.

            Infernal darkness, violent defiance, and nihilistic views permeate lyrics with an overarching theme of religious decline, and it begins with the denial of saviors and salvation on “Learn to Love the Void.” There’s an acceptance of having only “eternal darkness to die for” while also embracing “The end” as “a reward,” and a German segment scoffs at participation in the “cosmic game” of faith and the afterlife before “Failing Trinity” adds further insult to these pursuits. Religion and its flaws are exposed in the struggle to maintain against its inevitable conquest by demons, and heretical persecution follows on “Exile is Imminent,” with its impact expressed through “hammered by pure frustration, consumed by bitter loss.” A crumbling Church is approached in the vein of good riddance on “Churches Without Saints” as corrupt religious leaders and their enslaved followers are highlighted, and Spanish makes for an interesting choice of language in the title as fleshy scenes of sex slavery play out on “Hellputa.”

            The corruption surrounding religion continues along with depictions of infernal torment on “Sadistic Salvation,” and damnation becomes preferable to salvation before questioning existence on “Armed Architects of Annihilation (In Clarity for Total Death).” This inquiry leads to a conclusion that only nothingness is true, and the nihilistic perspective goes further on “Primordial Obscurity” while ideas plagued by the holy, redemption, and eternity become increasingly faded. A savage venture into the beyond occurs with “raping the multiverse, exit to zero” on “Endless Awakening,” and the “antiafterlife” is glorified on this “singularity ride” into the darkness. Rough translations of “Aus Asche (From Ashes)” reaffirm the surety of nothingness, with solace also emerging from these existential remains. Many other impressions remain uncovered in the lyrics, but this summary highlights their nefarious spirit along with the irreverent and destructive impulses toward outdated theological establishments.

            Churches Without Saints is a wrathful return for DESASTER, and it brings a renewed force to the classic Thrash sound, along with equal portions of malevolent darkness from a blackened influence. Its expressive riffs are also matched by vocal and rhythmic variations, and a vicious edge persists while shifting from energetic high levels to deep dejection and other solemn tones. Further dynamics are conveyed through the calculated use of atmospheric and instrumental elements, which add variety without compromising the Old-School metal spirit. Churches Without Saints demonstrates that, unlike the Church, DESASTER is far from being obsolete, and it’s a welcome addition to their discography that shouldn’t be missed.

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