Released: 2008, Century Media Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
When Iscariah left Immortal in 2003 citing musical differences, he vowed to start his own project. It took a few years but Iscariah’s vision has been realized with Dead To This World. A true solo project, Iscariah handles vocals, guitars and bass duties leaving ex-Gorgoroth skinsman, Kvitrafn, to handle the drums. Rooted in the old-school blackened thrash of Bathory and Hellhammer, the band’s debut, FIRST STRIKE FOR SPIRITUAL RENEWANCE, will please fans looking for biting riffs and lots of references to war and Satan with a no-frills attitude.
“I, The Facilitator” and “Goatpower” ooze with an evil groove behind Iscariah’s buzzsaw riffing. Circle pits are certain to emerge in bedrooms and living rooms at the very sound of these songs, each with its own headbanging fury built in. “Into The Light (Baphomet Rising)” is more mid-tempo but the aggression and seething rage in Iscariah’s sinister vocal delivery really drive this track home. “Hammer of The Gods” boasts guitar leads that are like sharpened swords hacking through the air. This is the most melodic song of the bunch but, strangely, the last four minutes are the same passage repeated over and over for no apparent reason.
Grammatically-incorrect title aside, Dead To This World’s FIRST STRIKE FOR SPIRITUAL RENEWANCE is a solid first outing for Iscariah, post-Immortal. There isn’t a lot of flashy stuff here to drool over and the songs don’t exactly burrow into your head with a melodic urgency, either. Instead, FIRST STRIKE FOR SPIRITUAL RENEWANCE is a well-crafted, straightforward homage to the gods of early black and thrash metal. Bands like Aura Noir have been doing much the same thing for years, so Dead To This World isn’t doing anything groundbreaking but with a certain, simplistic likeability and outright devotion to heavy metal purity, your neck will be feeling the pain long after this album ends.
KILLER KUTS: “I, The Facilitator,” “Goatpower,” “Into The Light (Baphomet Rising),” “Hammer of The Gods”