Spankraght - Thou Shalt Drown In The Blood Of Thy Children

Dance Insanity. That is probably the best way to describe the rather epic "Thou Shalt Drown In The Blood Of Thy Children" by Belgium’s Spankraght. Taking dance beats and techno that will make fans of KMFDM, 3teeth, Shining (the jazz metal group not depressive metal one) or Orgy very proud and adding in heavy guitars, the band takes a formula that was started by Ministry and modernizes it for a more mainstream, yet brutal sound. The key to this album is energy. Listeners can literally feel it come out of the speakers or headphones with how frantic the beats are- one probably hasn’t been slammed by that many BPM since the remixed version of black metal outfit Emperor’s 'Sworn'. However, with all that energy and dance groove it takes a lot to keep listeners grounded because after a while those catchy beats can be a bit dull by the third track. Fortunately, Spankraght include a slew of guest vocals to enhance their dance metal and touch on other genres as well to attract a large variety of metal listeners.

Right off the opening track 'Synopsis' one gets the feeling they are hearing a radio broadcast sample of a quarantined land, which might resonate very well with almost anyone considering the current state of affairs in the world with Covid 19. At the same time, it also serves as a nice lull before the beats come in, which are pretty devoid of any real ‘metal’ parts which may turn listeners off a little. The last fourth of this track is pretty much what is to come the rest of the album- mechanical ear bludgeoning. But, to really get the experience of "Thou Shalt…" one has to take in every track individually.

The second one, 'Reset Mankind', has a bit more variety to the beats with a mix of death snarls and cleaner shouting- think Monolith Deathcult but with a more polished sound. The riffs are definitely more in the vein of Rammstein or other more rock oriented industrial bands, so this makes the sound a bit more accessible and not too harsh. Some elements like the ‘clunky hammer’ or ‘siren alarm’ might seem a bit annoying, but one could also say they add variety even if there are random industrial elements. The thick beats of 'Carnivale' feel more akin to Fear Factory with the synths behind them and the guest female vocalist really enhances the music- it is one of the few tracks to feature it and definitely a highlight of the album overall despite its simplicity.

Other tracks like 'Resilient' add more industrial elements like record scratching and more rock oriented guitar work- especially with the solos. Vocal work can be credited to Zak of rap metal group Clawfinger and will really appeal to the more nu-metal groups from the early 2000s with the more shouted vocals touching on Ministry. It is impressive to see Spankraght’s creativity with how they use their guests and take many different industrial elements and use them tastefully so they aren’t overused. It feels like there is a little something for everyone.

After this track though the album tends to dry up a little as 'Slaughtered' takes one back to the whole Fear Factory sound. The closing 'Exodus' really serves as a tenacious listen as it is the longest track on the album- 10 minutes- and really tests listeners to how much they can stand the whole concept of ‘dance metal'. The result though is well crafted- like so many of the album tracks. Bouncing from awesome rock riffs to techno all supported by the thumping dance beats will not make this one a bore. The track even closes on some very soft piano which serves as an awesome outro and a more organic sound vs the mechanical beating of the industrial bits that pretty much pummeled ears for most of the album.

It is very hard to chain "Thou Shalt Drown In The Blood Of Thy Children" to any one genre. Yes, it is mostly ‘dance metal’ but unique in its own way so one can’t say it is a rip off of Celldweller or KMFDM. True, a lot of credit goes to the guests to give their own individual flavoring of various sub genres and making Spankraght more than their more generic comrades, but the core is definitely an upbeat sound altogether with a light spread of more brutal sounds that will appease fans of dance rock to dance death metal. Is it repetitive? Yes. Is it boring? No. Is it complex? Yes. Should one give it a try? Yes. Just don’t be afraid to move while rocking out to it so wireless listening is really preferred. Really nice job to these guys for creating something heavy yet happy sounding but not cheesy.

3.8 / 5 STARS 


1. Synopsis
2. Reset Mankind
3. Carnivale
4. Hoop
5. Resilient
6. Slaughtered
7. Exodus

Self released
Reviewer: Colin McNamara
May 27, 2020
Next review: Shinigami - Ryu

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