Creeping Death – Specter Of War EP

Since independently releasing this EP in a digital only format at the beginning of 2018, Creeping Death from Denton, Texas have earned themselves a record deal, and, while they currently remain focused on recording a full album’s worth of new material, have reissued last year’s Specter of War (eOne) on vinyl in the interim.

Carrying on the good work from 2016’s Sacrament of Death EP, Specter… is a suitably vicious blend of old school Death Metal, Thrash, and Hardcore which begins, unsurprisingly enough, with the sounds of battle. ‘Revenge’ features fast and thrashy riffs and slower groove-laden sections, guttural vocals, a pleasingly messy guitar solo, and a crushingly heavy climax, while the title track is two and a half minutes of pure old school death metal designed purely to destroy neck muscles. Arguably the EP’s standout track, ‘Trail of Confusion’ is slow, fast, heavy, and heavier as chunky riffs combine with Cannibal Corpse style low end hammer-ons and pinch harmonics, and a great dive-bombing guitar solo.

‘Salvation’ offers up a no-messing about, heads down mid-paced groove approach, not altogether dissimilar to a mutant hybrid created from the rotting carcass of Slayer‘s ‘Postmortem’, and ‘Stripped, Raped and Strangled’ by Cannibal Corpse. Repeating the same formula as before, final cut ‘New Agony’ keeps things brutal before building to an ominous crawl towards the end.

While the five tracks on offer here might not register too highly in the originality stakes, the attitude with which each one slashes and stomps its way across your face means that doesn’t really end up mattering too much, and with the promise of a full length debut on the not too distant horizon, this short stab of Death Metal violence does the trick quite nicely for now.

6 / 10

GARY ALCOCK