Let’s get this out of the way up front: any band that mentions later-era Dissection as an influence is one I’ll check out, as I have a deeply-rooted love for Reinkaos. Sadly, few bands and releases that make this claim actually end up satisfying. However, on their full-length debut, Destroy the Light, from one-man project Thorns of Sin actually delivers, combining a great blend of black metal melodicism with a thrashy-leaning death metal approach.
Sergio Varela started Thorns of Sin in Los Angeles in 2010, and began work on this album two years ago. Now that it’s here, he wastes no time cutting to the chase: the parallels to Dissection are evident right from the onset of opener “Trapped in the Unknown”—with its lone keyboard passage, thrashy black metal riffing, and gruff but completely understandable vocal delivery. The lead guitar work brings to mind a burning Flying V, with the rhythm grounded in a dense and crunchy, Swedish-sounding death metal tone.
“Lust Through the Ashes” highlights bursts of black metal chops with trigger-fast drumming and tremolo picking, along with a mix of evil sounding vocals and lower-toned demonic voices. “The Truth Awakening” features a guest spot from Scar Symmetry guitarist Per Nilsson and gives a taste of speed metal, while the melodic but deadly cover of Death’s “The Philospher” hearkens back to the classics. The album touches on a wide range of genres and influences, and becomes an entirely fun listen from beginning to end.
I have to mention the production as well. Destroy the Light is super clean and loud, with all instruments coming through clearly and no hissing or low spots. The album goes by quickly; it’s seven tracks in 30 minutes, with no time wasted, no holes to fill and no riffs missed. Anytime I find myself in the car with this thing, the windows go down and the volume goes up as loud as possible. (No surprise, that’s the exact treatment I give to Reinkaos when I spin it.)