Witchmaster/Voidhanger – Razing the Shrines of Optimism (Third Eye Temple)

Witchmaster/Voidhanger – Razing the Shrines of Optimism (Third Eye Temple)

Good-in-parts split EP from two of the best from the Polish underground...

Third Eye Temple have come up with a nice varied package on this split EP, an entertaining matchup between two Eastern European hopefuls. However maybe that variety may also be a weakness in the eyes of die hard fans of the thrash/death genre who know what they want and gets antsy when it’s not delivered..

Poles Witchmaster are up first, and the single original studio track they offer, Permafrost, is a crusty behemothic riff juggernaut that really hits the spot. A couple more tracks like this would have been great, but instead the band go a bit industrial for a cover of Einstürzende Neubauten’s Tanz Debil which works in a sort of droning, trancelike way but really isn’t up to the standard of Permafrost, so why include it?

Witchmaster end their side with some poorly recorded live material, which I guess completists will enjoy but did nothing for your reviewer, although the excellent drumming of Inferno is a bit of a highlight.

Fellow Poles Voidhanger own side two and fans of blackened thrash will find the three tracks provided by them to be far more consistent, and thus far more palatable. Groovy opening track Burnout Hearts Exhibition is the standout, chugging along like early Celtic Frost before adding a nice d-beat edge from drummer Priest and the excellent vocals of Warcrimer giving a more punk feel to proceedings. Second track Dyskretny Urok Upadku sets out to confuse by way of a slow(ish) opening before exploding into all out thermonuclear thrash warfare whilst closing track Through the Holocaust of Optimism hammers the point home that Voidhanger have probably had the better of this match with another dose of savage, punk-fuelled thrash which ends in devilishly heavy, grindingly Slayeresque fashion. Overall, then, it looks like the score of this match is 3-1 to Voidhanger.

Razing the Shrines of Optimism is released by Third Eye Temple on January 20th.

Graham Goodge
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