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Faith Extinguisher
(Doomentia Records)

The Italian trio BARBARIAN is quite a puzzling band. Expectations range from truest Power Metal (looking at the cover) to blackest Thrash Metal (looking at the image and the song titles). All this just to find out that the truth is exactly in between. But let's start from the beginning. BARBARIAN started in 2009 in the historical city of Florence, in the heart of Italy and released a demo tape a year later, arousing the attention of Doomentia Records. These guys released the demo on vinyl and a split 12" with BUNKER 66 (both recordings are unknown to me until now), so "Faith Extinguisher" marks BARBARIAN's first proper full length album. And this album has a lot to offer. The opening title track starts off like a classical blackened Thrash Metal song, until BARBARIAN surprises us with a break full of MAIDENesque guitar harmonies and classic Metal beats. And these surprises run through the whole album like a common thread, so much they aren't surprises anymore. The vocal delivery is rough, black and thrashy, reminding of bands like BEWITCHED, but the musical main basis of BARBARIAN is deeply rooted in classic Metal of the 1980s. Transfer this basis into 1990s Black Thrash Metal, mix it up with a sense for simplicity and spice it with the pretty basic production, and you'll get an album that should be pure joy for lovers of the oldest schools of Metal. I'm not wasting my breath here with a detailed analysis, for I don't want to spoil the fun. Puzzling at first, but convincing in the end - that's what I like about bands like BARBARIAN. Check them out at: and visit the dedicated label at:

Thomas Meyer

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