Barbarian - Barbarian - (8/10)
Published on July 1, 2017
Gearing up for a North American tour, Barbarian put together a two track seven inch released through Hells Headbangers Records. Led by Borys Crossburn (of Children of Technology), Barbarian has easily become one of the most prominent and promising bands in the speed/thrash/black metal niche. Their 2016 full length album, Cult of the Empty Grave, combined the likes of Celtic Frost with early Running Wild. Barbarian’s blend of first wave black metal and early ’80s heavy metal offered a muscled and toned approach to something that could best be described as heavy fucking metal.
While the band’s self-titled EP does bring a similar sound to the table, those classy traditional metal vibes are toned down a bit in favor of pummeling thrash vibes. Speed metal riffing and classy leads round out the blackened thrashing and deep, barked vocals. “Simulacra of the Ageless Need” fires off some frenetic speed metal riffing bolstered by a short-lived, yet very prominent Viking-era Bathory-esque choral moan while “Stench of God” takes a thundering first wave approach, one that brings a swaggering, pulsing vibe.
This release will certainly serve its purpose to get people hyped for tour, but it’s not the band’s best material (that honor still goes to Cult of the Empty Grave). That being said, if you’re a fan of anything else the band has done, you can’t really go wrong with the two tracks here. Thrashing, speed metal and primal first wave black metal mixed with some heavy metal sensibility. This time around might have a touch more of Deströyer 666 than Manowar, but it’s still an enjoyable ride.