High Command - Everlasting Torment
Southern Lord
Thrash/Hardcore crossover
2 songs (10'19")
Release year: 2020
Southern Lord
Reviewed by Alex

Thanksgiving is usually the week when I do very little driving to work, hence few listening opportunities to new music. Normally shorter EPs are order of the day during this week and this (horrendous) year was no exception. To relieve frustration though something not just short but blasting is what I felt like. Massachusetts team High Command with their promise of thrash, hardcore and punk crossover seemed par for the course.

Everlasting Torment, however, isn’t just straight up blasting, in either of its two tracks. Instead, in a compressed span of 10 min the band attempts to tell the story and given they are fans of Robert E Howard and Michael Moorcock, their brand of extreme metal interweaves with fantasy storytelling, in as much as the two can actually combine. Instead of jumping right into the grind in the leading title track High Command paints a picture of the beast on the prowl. Crouching, gathering in its doomy morbid recoil, the High Command cheetah explodes eventually into a Sodom-like thrashing gallop around 1’30” mark. Screaming vocals is where hardcore aspect may play out, and High Command is a little drier and less downtuned in terms sound than famous Germans, but they have an ability to play at different speeds ratcheting forward or pulling back. The final burst of the beast standing over the vanquished victim closes the title track. Sword of Wisdom continues with its non straightforward approach. Martial theme plays and swords clash with their metal clang before the main thrash riff takes over. The song can pummel, yet it is thoughtful and deliberate, almost playful in spots, with guitars doing some weird stretchy distortion.

No knowledge of High Command heretofore and no expectations yet Eternal Torment hit the spot just right, balancing muscle and thoughtfulness in equal measure.

Killing Songs :
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