PICK OF THE WEEK: Craven Idol’s black thrash warns of gods’ lure on fiery ‘Forked Tongues’

Humans aren’t exactly the greatest stewards of the earth, nor are some of them particularly skilled at being responsible individuals, instead deciding to fall prostrate in front of idiotic politicians whose lies are so flimsy, it’s impossible to think of how anyone could fall for this shit. What amazing fodder we’d be for the old gods, what marks for doing absolutely no reading or research we’ve become.

That’s not necessarily the focus of the excellent “Forked Tongues,” the third record from Craven Idol, but it falls in line as they examine the silliness humanity has become. Instead, they use their thunderous blackened thrash to warn against the lure of false idols and the foolishness of following supposed deities who have no other concern for anything other than their own conquests. Further, the record acts as a sequel of sorts to the battle between Ancient Greek gods Typhon and Zeus, with Typhon returning to exact revenge after he served time in a burial spot beneath Mount Aetna. Those titanic battles are painted in fire and blood by the band—vocalist/guitarist Sadistik Vrath, guitarist Obscenitor, bassist Suspiral, drummer Heretic Blades—as they rage through seven tracks and 41 minutes of cataclysmic power that makes it feel like the earth is splitting in two.

“Venomous Rites” gets started by smashing away with the guitars charging and Vrath’s vocals going for the jugular. The playing speeds and wrecks guts while the chorus is simple but really effective. Soloing blares as the body of the song pummels, ending its violence in a pit of silence. “The Wrath of Typhon” stirs dangerously before unloading on you, simmering in thrashy nastiness. The furious onslaught continues as the vocals continue to add intensity, the leads splatter, and we end in ashen black glory. “Iron Age of Devastation” fires up with tangling guitars and scorching speed, feeling like your guts are being stomped mercilessly. Shrieks explode as Vrath wails, “Desecration! Annihilation!” as the track is buried in hell. “Even the Demons…” creaks and jolts before kicking into high gear, rupturing as the intensity soars. The leads bathe in fire as Vrath insists, “Even the gods kneel,” as melodic power comes to life, blasting through walls as the chorus jars one last time.

The title track has a great, energetic start, bringing a blast of juice that has a rusty razor punk feel built into the recipe. The playing hangs in the air threateningly before blistering rage surfaces, and the chugging leaves you devastated. Meaty grunts and thrashy chaos unite as mangling screams jar loose your screws. “Deify the Stormgod” runs a healthy 9:23, the longest track on the record, and it sits in thunderclaps before taking off on a melodic journey. The body of this thing ravages hard as drums come in to support the battle front as voices calls out desperately into echoes. The speed explodes and scrambles brains, howls echo, and the smashing playing steamrolls and tears right into “The Gods Have Left Us for Dead,” the 9:06-long closer. Things are torn apart as the guitars gallop heavily, and great melody runs headlong into murk. The playing splatters and leaves muscle and guts behind, and the vocals hammer you like never before. The leads swell and rush hard, an amazing wave of power quakes, and the track slips into the heavens where the great gods continue their self-centered battles.

Craven Idol’s journey into the war of the gods explodes on “Forked Tongues,” easily the strongest of their three releases, which is really saying something considering this band’s stellar resume. On here, the thrash is heavy as ever, and the black metal leanings are even more sinister, aiming to draw blood with every blow. This record is savage and uncompromising, a statement that this band is as hungry and bloodthirsty as ever, with everything in front of them seen as a target.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/cravenidol

To buy the album, go here: http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/store/

For more on the label, go here: http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/