Sometimes, song titles turn out to be examples of truth in advertising — no puffery, no exaggeration, just the truth and nothing but the truth. When London’s Craven Idol named the song we’re premiering “A Ripping Strike“, they weren’t fooling, and they’re not fooling around on the song either. It really is a ripping strike — a non-stop primal rush of electrification straight to the brain stem. And it proves to be damned infectious as well.
“A Ripping Strike” is the second track on Cravel Idol’s second album, The Shackles of Mammon, which will be released by Dark Descent Records on April 14. It follows the band’s eye-popping debut album Towards Eschaton, released in 2013.
The new album incorporates lyrical themes that address “the vices of man, the plagues they unleashed upon themselves, and the rationalisation of its own actions -– be it in tragedy or ruin -– through the creation of deities and cults”. “Mammon the — Demon of Avarice — reigns above all, whilst the black arts and countless religions seek to justify human failure”.
The band also gave us this comment about the song you’re about to hear:
“‘A Ripping Strike’ summons the spirits of Poison (Ger), Sodom, and Bathory, with a dose of Gospel Of The Horns thrown in. It’s a forlorn tale of revenge, of a last stand, and of darkest defeat. Being the first track we wrote, it is the founding pillar on which the sonic matter on our second album The Shackles Of Mammon was wrought. A fierce attack of uncompromising old school extreme metal.
“The track features ferocious debut performances from two new band members, Heretic Blades (drums) and Obscenitor (guitar, also of Crom Dubh).”
Heretic Blades and Obscenitor do indeed turn in ferocious performances on this song, but that’s true of the song as a whole. It begins slowly but soon surges ahead, with an eerie, spectral melody and a flickering lead-guitar lead that together give it the sound of a soundtrack to a ghoulish ghost story. And the intensity continues to mount, driven by swarming, diseased riffs and furious, blasting drums, with the vocals moving from searing snarls to deranged screams and livid cries.
While the song is indeed a vibrant torrent of black thrashing electrification with an old school sound, the rhythms change, pulsating bursts of grim melody surface, a slithering solo manifests like a tormented viper, and those flickering tendrils of high guitar melody reappear, preserving the aura of paranormal fury that surrounds the song. And with all that, it’s also catchy as hell.
The Shackles of Mammon was recorded at Birmingham’s Priority Studios and it was engineered by Esoteric’s Greg Chandler and mastered by Dan Lowndes at Resonance Sound. It features cover art by one of our favorites, Daniel Corcuera (Nekronikon), who created his own gruesome rendition of an 1896 wood carving by Sascha Schneider named “Mammon und sein Sklave”.
The album will be released on LP, CD, and MC via Dark Descent Records, along with new Craven Idol shirt-ware. Pre-orders can be placed HERE or on Bandcamp at THIS LOCATION. And you can catch Craven Idol live this spring in the UK — here’s the current schedule of shows:
April 8th – London @ Black Heart
April 15th – Glasgow @ North Of The Wall Fest
May 15th – London @ Underworld w/ Nifelheim
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