Kerasphorus Cloven Hoofs at the Holocaust Dawn

With the mighty J. Read (Axis of Advance, Conqueror, Revenge) on session drums, this debut four-song EP from San Francisco, CA's Kerasphorus has got blackened nuclear war metal promise written all over it (that's a good thing). And sure enough, opening cut "The Abyssal Sanhedrin" blasts raw and fast, with just enough sloppiness, atmosphere and dynamics to keep things interesting. Closing cut "Swarm Intelligentsia" is a goose bump-raising anthem for the new millennium, at least for those who avoid sunlight. The production has a bit of heft to it, which is nice to hear in this genre, but still maintains a wonderfully raw sound. Band mastermind P. Helmkamp, whom cult followers will know from Order from Chaos, Angelcorpse and Revenge, manages to pack a beyond reasonable amount of blasting black and totally raw nuclear metal into this EP, one that poses more than a few questions about how much is too much, and whether or not a full-length would even be enjoyable. But this EP is incredibly enjoyable, with the finish line always in sight. (Nuclear War Now!)