Though are not exactly knowledgeable on the state of the Latvian metal scene bands like Skyforger, Trendkill Method, Relicseed, and Ygodehwh, those we have come across, all suggest it is rather healthy and it looks like the thrash side of its fury is in good shape too going by the new album from Saintorment. A ferocious roar of old school thrash with a penchant for speed and heavy metal, the band makes a very sizeable impression with Defective Mind, the release a thoroughly enjoyable fusion of the familiar and fresh.
Formed in Daugavpils in the spring of 2013, Saintorment took little time moving from a cover band playing Metallica, Kreator, Pantera, Exodus etc. songs to writing and performing their own propositions. A quartet since 2014 unveiling their debut album, Well of Sins, the following year, there is little more we can tell you about Saintorment. Worry not though as Defective Mind has all the reasons why they deserve plenty of your metal searching time.
The album opens with Physical Force, its destructive warning a portent of the ravenous riffs and senses plundering rhythms to follow. Unashamedly wearing the band’s inspirations, the track surges through ears, the contagious horde of insatiable grooves and riffs easily devoured. Unruly impassioned vocals only add to the persuasion, their controlled rabidity riding the fury of the sounds with zeal. Skilled breakdowns and keen twists bring new identity to the recognisable but greedily welcomed traits of the track, many sourced to those bands the band embraced in their first days.
It is a great start to Defective Mind continued by its hellacious title track. As its predecessor, the song goes for the jugular, riffs and rhythms a forcibly badgering invitation led by ferocious vocals and an enterprise which entangles and twists unsurprising thrash traits with the band’s own creative character and invention. There is drama in every breath of the song, even more so than the first, which adds to its compelling trespass.
There is also a great rawness to the Saintorment sound, one which is in its prime within next up We Are, an ears savaging predator with enmity in every swing and enticement in every resourcefully crafted groove and melody. Keenly revealing the appealing variety in the band’s sound which is sometimes understated but always teasing, the track left an already forming appetite for the album greedier and ready to seize the bodies of songs like Strong Enough and Never. The first has a punkiness to its animus, a cantankerousness which fuels its magnetic scourge while its successor has a great nagging quality to its riffs and grooves, a predation brought with darker intent by the vocals; both songs also rich in sonic and melodic dexterity.
Through belligerence soaked Zerofy and heavy metal nurtured …Dies at the Black Night, the album only accentuates its tenacious nature in sound and imagination where again familiar essences collude enjoyably with the individual ideation of Saintorment; Mood Pyrexia subsequently matching them in endeavour and success while building on the theatre of the song before with its tapestry of metal diversity over thrash instincts. An instrumental for ears and imagination, it masterfully highlights the skills and energy of all band members while casting its suggestive adventure.
The album finishes with Final Hour, a track as vicious as it is alluring as the band again casts a web of multi-faceted thrash bred metal, and finally bonus track Ai, kā man patīk. A raucous punk metal version of presumably a Latvian folk song with lecherous grooves and vociferous passion to the fore, it is quite superb and the perfect end to an increasingly addictive release.
Saintorment is a band all thrash fans should take time out to explore, their album a stomp which thickly satisfies each and every time, and their open potential something to keep a close ear upon. In reference to the final song, Oh how I like it!
Defective Mind is available now via More Hate Productions @ https://saintorment.bandcamp.com/album/defective-mind
Pete RingMaster 18/01/2018
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