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LAMENT- The Ancient Battle of the Saints

Mexican metal missionaries Lament return with a full length cd, 5 years after their last ep Left Behind, this time on their own Lament Records. Much like Mortification, Lament started as a death metal band, but at times throughout their history have incorporated many other styles of metal into their formula. Though drummer/ vocalist Abel Gomez has flirted with clean vocals on some albums, he returns to guttural death metal style vocals on Ancient Battle... Abel's drumming sticks with double bass for the bulk of the album, only the doomy "Not My Funeral" really has any blastbeats at all. The music remains devastatingly heavy, but retains more of a progressive and rhythmic pattern than most death metal, eschewing some of the death metal earmarks for more of a traditional metal approach. One might even note hints of Iron Maiden in the guitar and basswork- just check out the main body of "Apostle of Hypocrisy." The band directs much of their aggression against the "Politician" this time around. Seems to be universal these days that that profession gets a bad rap. "Soul" intersperses some soaring clean guitar riffs with the vocal portions. The lyrics are in English and are fairly simple and straightforward, like "Rapture Is Not A Lie" or "Book of Power," but evangelistic nonetheless. The final song "Legal" is the standout, due to the vocals, which have some kind of modulation, making them sound more ominous than the rest. 8 songs barely makes for a full length disc, and the opener "This Present Darkness" is just a movie soundtrack type intro, but it is good to hear Lament back in action again. Nice cover artwork of spiritual warfare, but through some cover layout snafu, the lyrics to the songs are laid out in the wrong order. (Lament Records) 3.5 out of 5 Stars

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