"Chaos Reigns"

By Dr. Abner Mality

This Danish death squad knows how to do crusty death metal the right way. Don't try to get fancy or artistic, just put your head down and get ready to beat or be beaten. Of all Southern Lord's many similar releases this year, this is the one that made my neck ache the most.

Simple formula, really: copious doses of Discharge, Doom ,Amebix, topped off with a dash of early Napalm Death and dusted with some Celtic Frost. There you have the NDT recipe and they cut loose with full force. The song titles are blunt and well-worn..."Crisis", "Collapse", "Total Annihilation", "World Enslaved"...but that, too, is in keeping with tradition and I, for one, don't want to hear synth beats and bagpipes during a beatdown like this. There's some fantastic mid-tempo riffs to skank to during the likes of "Mindchain" and "Devolve To Submission" can find them in most of the 11 tracks here, actually, but these were the ones that stood out the most.

To give a tip of the hat, NDT finish with a cover of "Morbid Tales" and they do a great no-fuss job, sounding like Doom covering the Celtic Frost classic. It's tough to pick from all the top notch crust/death releases out this year, but "Chaos Reigns" is a no-brainer and a must have.