WE suspect that the good people of Somerset have been boosting the strength of the scrumpy and cider - how else could one possibly explain the sheer ferocity of Flayed Disciple, whose latest release - Death Hammer - landed with a suitable thud on the metal mansion doormat courtesy, of the good people at Grindscene Records.
Flayed Disciple are not the sort of cuddly band to introduce your ma to, even if she still hankers aftedr being a milf rock chick.
Riffage from the golden era of thrash in the 80s is forced via guitars weeping in pain into a contemporary feel, with Tim Whyte's vocals at times threatening to become so guttural that passing whales can be thrown off course at the ulstra low frequencies.
Lyrically they are not afraid to tackle themes familar to those of us with one juaundiced eye on the news, the vile Westboro baptists - the church that threatened to protest at Dio's funeral - merit themselves the Flayed Disciple treatment on 'The Westboro Massacre'.
As the album builds the guitars of Thurston Howe and Jon Whitfield grow into a mixture of tight groove and at times searing, soaring heights. To be fair, it is probably the second or third listen before you can 'get' the complexities of this pairing. The clever, but not overdone, use of a few samples - vocal mainly - serves to accentuate their work.
By the time you get to 'Interceptor' you can fully appreciate the rhythm work - it is no mean task for any rhythm section to hold down the precarious balance between thrash and the more modern death interpretations of timings. Paul Williams (bass) and Phil Tolfree (drums) seem to freely interchange who exactly is taking the lead to ensure that tracks such as 'Exodus' and 'Bleaching in the Sun' maintain a dyamism.
The album stands out - to these ears anyway - largely with closing trio, which have titles not for sensitive Bon Jovi fans. 'Torsofucked', 'Ejaculate While Killing' and 'Pig' are blistering. All three are noteworthy with different takes on the Flayed Disciple template, but it is album closer 'Pig' that lays down eight plus minutes of sheer, unadulterated dark joy: how the hell anyone is meant to stay in the pit for that long is another question in and of itself, given the pace and dexterity of this aggression.
Death Hammer is the first time we at the metal mansion have come across Flayed Disciple - and hears to the next time. Once again Grindscene have caught the right band at the right time, with the right extreme edge in the metal spectrum.