Scarlet Anger - Dark Reign

12 songs
49:34 minutes
***** ***
Dust On The Tracks


Scarlet Anger didn’t take long to make themselves a household name in the Luxembourgish metal scene, but now they are ready to act on an international scale. Their first longplayer Dark Reign sounds very professionally, which should be expected, as the mastering was done by Annihilator mastermind Jeff Waters.

And that’s exactly the cue: Scarlet Anger play, just like Annihilator, old school thrash metal the way it was popular between 1985 and 1995, and this genre hasn’t lost any of its initial charm. Other influences might be Slayer, Kreator and Metal Church, which speaks for the undeniable quality of the band. The songs are well thought through and convince with the right dose of brutality. There’s also plenty of pace changes, as Scarlet Anger are not afraid to allow for some quieter and melodic moments.

You’ll meet some well known characteristics though. This starts with the cover artwork featuring once again the evilly sneering clown who was already present on the preceding EP Kill The King. And the five tracks from said EP start the album in exactly the same sequence, even though they have been rerecorded. They are followed by six new songs, and the transitions works seamlessly. This shouldn’t mean that the band hasn’t made any progress, they just have stayed true to their style. This is understandable, considering the rave reviews they received, even internationally, for their outstanding EP. I especially like Follow The Order and Tenfold among the new tracks, as the band is acting more playful and complex than in the past. As a bonus, you’ll get an excerpt from their even earlier demo La realidad es triste. Scarlet is certainly not a bad song, but compared to their newer, more mature material, it sounds rather stiff.

Actually Scarlet Anger would have deserved a nine point rating for their debut longplayer, but considering that half the material has been previously released, I decided to subtract one point. Early day fans only get six new tracks, but those new to the band will be delighted to get everything right here without having to resort to the EP. Dark Reign is quite the gem that should be found in every thrash metal collection.

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