Pacifismi est Ignavia! So proclaims the title of Spearhead’s savage new album, Pacifism Is Cowardice, their first since 2011’s Theomachia and their fourth since 2005. The title is almost redundant; the music is unmistakably militant, undeniably vicious, relentlessly enraged and unforgiving.
The first track from the album which debuted last month, “Of Sun and Steel“, was a great reminder of how rabid, electrifying, and addictive this UK band’s black/death war-charges can be. They show no mercy on the song we’re bringing you today either — “Wolves of The Krypteia, We“.
This newest song is pure slaughter. Thundering drums, battering bass, and dense, roiling, dissonant riffing greet the ears immediately, and with the riotous appearance of horrid roars that elevate to utterly bestial howls, the drumming becomes more violent and the riffing even more livid and deranged, rising in a berserker frenzy and falling into a blood-freezing manifestation of cold-hearted murder.
Spearhead add further dimensions to this nerve-igniting experience when the drum thunder subsides and chords ring out like the peals of bells. The music shimmers and shines with an eerie magnificence, and the vocals rise in a kind of choral reverence. It sounds like the glorification of death. It’s an astute change, but barely time enough to catch a breath before these barbarians return again, with relish, to the infliction of musical carnage.
In case you are curious about the song’s title, as I was, there seems to be some uncertainty about the purpose of the Krypteia, but not much doubt about the murderous methods it employed.
As recounted here, it was either a kind of secret police organized by the ancient Spartan state or a form of training and a rite of passage for young Spartan men. Its ranks were sent into the countryside to terrorize the subservient helot population, given carte blanche to kill any they encountered, perhaps using such summary executions as a means of suppressing unrest and deterring rebellion. “Only Spartans who had served in the Krypteia as young men could expect to achieve the highest ranks in Spartan society and army. It was felt that only those Spartans who showed the willingness and ability to kill for the state at a young age were worthy to join the leadership in later years”.
Pacifism Is Cowardice will be released by Invictus Productions on November 23rd. Below we’ve included not only this newest song but also “Of Sun and Steel” in case you missed it.