Communion – At The Announcement (2018) REVIEW

After a decade of honing their blackened bestial thrash metal attack through several demos, a split with fellow independent thrashers Sepulchral, and a few rehearsals Communion have emerged with two full-lengths in 2018. ‘At The Announcement’ was recorded between 2014 and 2017 and directly precedes their self-titled album, representing the raw black/thrash sound of their demos. The hollow, ripping guitar tone of Communion’s first full-length is a resurrection of both early Teutonic masters and classic South American bestial extreme thrash with it’s reverb-laden heft providing the cacophony their ritualistic thrash demands. It is a concise yet vociferous blend of orthodox speed metal riffs and first wave black metallic rapture.

Communion go beyond the cyclic, demonic speed metal of Destruction‘s ‘Infernal Overkill’ and instead raise the ghastly specter of Poison‘s ‘Into the Abyss’ with the caveat of shorter compositions based on the blasting drums you’d find in pre-‘Tribulated Bells’ demos by Sadism. The combination of raw extreme thrashing a la Panic ‘Rotten Church’ and the structures of ‘In the Sign of Evil’ is infectious and just brief enough to keep me wanting more. If you’re looking for re-tuned versions of their demo/EP material look to their self-titled second album for those, though, as ‘At The Announcement’ appears to be made up of mostly new material.

One of my favorite albums of the last decade is Reveal‘s blurry and obscured black/thrash album ‘The Nocturne of Eyes and Teeth’ and though those Swedes are off making noise rock/death metal now, some of their more effective orthodox moments are perhaps more genuinely conveyed within Communion’s approach to blackened speed/thrash metal. I was going to rattle on about my favorite riffs on the album but ‘At The Announcement’ features far too many. The most exemplary signature moments on the album are all guitar driven, though and “Enthroned Inquisition” employ a satanic speed metal groove ethos that recalls the best of Hellhammer as much as it does early Destruction and Sodom. Songs like “Consecrated to the Abyss” and “Ultimate Ordeal” feel almost conjured from a missing third Bathory album extorting greater fury from ‘The Return…’ and ‘Morbid Visions’ alike.

If you’re itching to hear one Communion album this year I wouldn’t suggest you limit yourself to just one. Both are not only different in their approach to riff-craft and production sound, but both are vital entries in summation of Chile’s long and storied extreme thrash history. This first one is far more raw and gnarled in it’s ritualistic bursts of blackness. If you enjoy bestial thrash from 80’s South American scenes or likewise the blasphemous first wave of black metal classics worldwide then ‘At The Announcement’ is required listening for 2018.


Artist Communion
Type Album
Released January 26, 2018
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Everything into ashes. 4.25/5.0

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