Witchrist Beheaded Ourboros

"Sorcerer of Lightning" starts things off right on this New Zealand's band's debut full-length; it features an extremely slow, raw and sloppy sludge/doom crawl that plays like the seedy underbelly of Forest of Equilibrium. But the other side of Witchrist's personality shines through in the same song (there's time, since it's eight minutes long) when it picks up the pace to become a blasting black/thrash/death menace, all raw, long toenails and uneven, unshaven facial hair. "Temple of War" is like a crotchety Bolt Thrower, all plodding death, but I'm not just saying that because the word "war" is in the song title (I think). "Adoration of Black Messiah" is the best example of the mid-tempo death metal sound this band do so well, griming through the grit, not unlike fellow muckrakers Abscess and Autopsy. "Shrine of Skulls" speeds it up again, but at that point it's become a big, sloppy, messy blur ― again, the vibe of Abscess matched for perhaps the first time ever. Amazing job for a debut. (Invictus)