If you’re eagerly waiting for the album of the year by anticipating the new release by Impending Doom, you may be several months too late. Any metal fan would be crazy not to have exposed their eardrums to Clovis, CA’s Crushing the Deceiver.
It only took a couple of years following their formation to get noticed by and signed to Roxx Records, and then release their first official single “Forever Free.” While 2018 is only five months gone, the band’s self titled debut is easily one of the top three metal releases of the year so far, if not the best. If Hand of Fire’s November 2017 release Nuclear Sunrise wasn’t pulsating enough, CTD steps it up a notch and goes full fledged insanity.
For starters, Crushing the Deceiver can’t be classified into one metal subgenre. They’re aggressive, brutal, thought-provoking, and spine-crushing, wrapped together. Johnny Rios’ guitar melodies and hooks do more than tickle the eardrums, they shatter them with reckless abandon. The haunting, but tolerable growls and grunts from vocalist Grant Mohler are also an audio image to behold discreetly. They are at times an acquired taste, but become easier on the ears upon repeated listens. While live drums are virtually non existent throughout, Rios does an incredible job of programming drum patterns to make it appear like a live drummer was actually in the studio doing his part to ensure a professional sound.
Each song on CTD’s debut stands on its own, but a few are more worthy of merit. The opener “An Angel’s Armor” begins with a Scripture passage from Revelation 3 read by punk band Dogwood’s Shawn Beaty, along with the sound of armies going to war.
What follows is an onslaught of metal greatness throughout.
However, the guest list continues to add more flair to the album as Taking the Head of Goliath’s vocalist Jake Martin contributes his signature growl to the track “In God’s Hands.” Perhaps the most notable guests are The Crucified’s Greg Minier as he throws in a high-pitched melodic solo on the trash-vibed “Forever Free,” and Mike Phillips also shows up a with a solo of his own on the single “Born Again.”
To close out the album, international punk rock musician Peter Shurtlett plays a beautifully crafted acoustic piece titled “Gabriel’s Song.”
In the midst of this masterpiece, the lyrics are straightforward, in-your-face, and honest, with themes of spiritual warfare, breaking free of bondage from the enemy, and most importantly, making the devil shake in his lava-infested boots.
Crushing the Deceiver comes on to the metal scene with a metaphorical bang, and are just getting warmed up. Start the summer off properly by picking up this unique band’s debut album. No heavy music fan will be disappointed with this one-of-a-kind release. Crank the volume past 11, and prepare to be CRUSHED!
Rating: 10/10 The Metal Onslaught