“As Rats Devour Lions”

By Dr. Abner Mality

It wasn’t that long ago that Prezir debuted with their EP “Contempt”. That venomous opus showed a lot of promise but also had noticeable flaws in production and sound. Well, “As Rats Devour Lions’ has done exactly what a follow-up release should do….show improvement in all regards.

You can notice the difference in seconds as the title track erupts with a furious thrash metal  assault that surprises right away. The thrash morphs gradually into something more overtly black metal with trollish rasps and trebly tremolo pickings, yet the song retains a thrash flavor throughout. Much of what Prezir does here sounds like thrash or death metal focused through a black metal lens. The result is raging and angry…this is not a “misty” or “depressive” black metal album but a smack upside the head with a spiked mace.

The vocals of Luka constantly whiplash between frozen orc rasps and the guttural growls of death metal. His time as lead vocalist of dwarven death metallers Khazzad-dum serves him well here. There are times when the lead guitar just sounds a bit too trebly for me…last track “Oedipus Context” kind of overdoes in this regard. I’ve always preferred thicker, bassier tones, but Prezir hits the right balance most of the time. “Serpents In the House of Ra” is another killer with strong death/thrash overtones while other cuts like “Idealogue Alchemy” are quite complex and twisting in their approach.

This is a great slab of fast, angry and misanthropic black metal and I’m real interested to see where Prezir goes next.