PATRIARCH - Rage Of Gods

PatriarcH - Rage Of Gods

10 songs
48:04 minutes
***** ***
(self-released)

Bandpage

Even though few may be familiar with PatriarcH, the quartet from Antwerp has been active since 1989 and has released so far four studio albums, always with long intervals between records. Eight years have passed since their previous CD, so it is not that surprising that on the current album Rage Of Gods, only two members remained from the last line-up. Both records have in common that they are self-released.

This is by no means a reason not to listen to Rage Of Gods, because the musicians play rather straight metal located somewhere between thrash and prog metal. My first impression was Mercyful Fate without King Diamond, as shrill vocals do not belong with PatriarcH. Other metal bands from the late Eighties and early Nineties have also possibly left an impact, like for instance Overkill, Hades, Nevermore and Fates Warning.

The album begins unusually with the rather quiet title track, but then things become more powerful. Born Without A Face and The Phenomenon Of Thoughts are two smashers that transport the listener back to the progressive thrash metal of the Eighties. Memories of Watchtower and Holy Terror manifested in my mind. The Red Cord, a very brutal track that reminds me somewhat of Pantera, shows also that the band is not afraid of long guitar solos. Another highlight is Chronology where the band switches between hectic and dramatic parts. I also want to point of the amazing vocal performance of new singer Kevin Vangelooven. Despite being younger than his co-members, his voice has the skill to resuscitate the aura of the past. His charismatic vocals also manage the high notes without ever sounding shrill.

Despite my copious referencing to other bands, PatriarcH are much more than mere copycats. These Belgians grew up in the Eighties with thrash and prog metal and still play today the music that they love. The new material feels very mature and should appeal to metalheads that are yearning for the sound of a time when metal was still a burgeoning movement. Rage Of Gods may not win a prize for originality and still is a thoroughly entertaining affair.

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