Review – Ceaseless Torment – Victory or Death

Hailing from the frozen north, or at least the part called Finland, Ceaseless Torment have been around since 2008, and after a couple of 4 track demos, released their first official full-length album in 2014 ‘The End They Bring’ followed in 2017 by ‘Force of Evil’, now 5 years later they are about to unleash their third, the highly anticipated “Victory or Death”. 

Let’s get this out in the open, tundra style, CT are unapologetically thrash, they do what they do with all the precision of a butcher at a corpse, but by God is it effective. Doing my due diligence, and checking out the previous two releases, “Victory or Death” builds on the momentum of those two first cuts in an almost backward way, and I mean that as a compliment. Sure, there is progression, or maybe that should be regression, but it’s not in any way compromised the bands heaviness, no, instead they have merely found a more effective, efficient way of being brutal. Like a serial killer perfecting his trade, after all killing is an artform of sorts. The production is wonderfully retrograde, this sounds like it came out of the 80s, and yet it has all the clarity you’d expect of a recording from2022. My first thought after listening, was ‘Agent Orange’ era Sodom covering ‘Seasons in the Abyss’, or is it ‘Seasons’ era Slayer covering ‘Agent Orange’? Either way you get the idea, this is as old school as it gets. There’s tremolo riffs and manic leads aplenty, along with lots of muted power chord chunkiness. This will have you madly banging your head for the whole of it’s 36min run time. 

Starting out with the 2½ minute ‘Final Sacrifice’, (with more than a hint of ‘War Ensemble’ in the intro), it’s then a heads down gallop to the finish. ‘Beyond the Boundaries of Sanity’ follows in similar style and it’s only when you get to the breakdown, that you get any sort of reprieve. ‘All Be Dead’ is a mid-paced monster, with some epic Hanneman/King worship at the start. The pseudo title-track ‘Only Victory or Death’ has more great guitar interaction, the harmonies throughout it are awesome, lead single ‘Sons of Sodom’ does what it says on the tin with a real nod to Tom Angelripper and the boys, and ‘Obsession Possession’ is speed feat while the closing ‘Slaves of Hell’ is the closet the band get to an epic and is probably my favourite track, a slower, longer, brooding intro, which expands into a real gem, with a really great riff set. 

This is the bottom line: this is extremely enjoyable thrash, which might not be the most original sounding  (and by that I mean if you’re madly missing Slayer, then this will definitely help you through your loss) but it more than makes up for it in sheer heaviness and enthusiasm. Good job.

“Victory or Death” due for release on September 30th, 2022 via Wormholedeath

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