Deathstorm - For Dread Shall Reign

Austria’s Deathstorm has been churning out thrash for about 10 years now, and while their style may not be as epic as some other bands or as progressive, they certainly have not lost their touch for creating some very catchy rhythms that no matter how repetitive will stick with listeners all the way through the album. Their fourth full length album “For Dread Shall Reign” takes themes and lyrics of death metal proportion and puts an extremely rhythmic spin on them which is actually quite clean and modern versus the raw, echoing production of 80s thrash. The musical structure is much like a combination of Max Cavalera era Sepultura meets Exodus so the most inviting thing that Deathstorm has going for them is their riff hooks, such as on ‘Ripping and Tearing’ or ‘Human Individual Metamorphosis’ which draw listeners in and then explode with typical speed thrash delivery. Thankfully, the group is known for varying their pace between fast and mid paced so it doesn’t feel like the track goes by too fast. Even when tracks like ‘Toxic Devotion’ seem like they hit too hard, the bands slows things down in the middle for some pretty great riffs and drumming to let listeners catch their breath.

Some tracks like ‘Sulphuric Scents’ are more solo focused but the overall pace of the music loses its momentum with the more easy going rhythms that churn along. The one thing that listeners may struggle with Deathstorm is, like a lot of thrash bands, they can be a bit of a one trick pony with the way the tracks are structured, whether its ‘open hard and then ease up in the middle with a great collection of riffs’ or ‘open with that great hook and then speed up before slowing down again at the end.’ There isn’t too much variation between the tracks. The one track that really feels to stand out is ‘The Mourning Funeral Depths’ simply for its foreboding acoustic intro that really builds the track before switching to the typical thrash attack that so many of the other tracks present. There is definitely a bit of a Metallica feeling here though, along with on ‘Stygian Black’.

Ultimately, the core sound of 90s thrash is certainly present with Deathstorm’s album but it isn’t quite revolutionary or something that someone who has heard quite a few other bands from the same genre are going to be blown away with. There are about probably 15 other bands that have a riff style and overall sound that is exactly like Deathstorm. However, there are plenty of solo moments such as on ‘Human Individual Metamorphosis’ that are much more melodic compared to more monotonous riffs that can get a bit lost on the other tracks that will make listeners raise eyebrows. “For Dread Shall Reign” is chock full of moments here and there that will incite plenty of headbanging but it may not be enough to fully prevent any track skipping a few times for those looking for something with a bit more depth.

2.5 / 5 STARS 


1. Unforgotten Wounds
2. Blades Of Delusion
3. Bloodlusted
4. Ripping And Tearing
5. Sulphuric Scents
6. The Mourning Funeral Depths
7. Toxic Devotion
8. Stygian Black
9. Human Individual Metamorphosis