Thursday, April 6, 2017

EP Review: DARK MINISTRY The Sermon Begins

The Sermon Begins
This Canadian thrash/metal band has the distinction of having been founded by Rik Charron, the former drummer of Exciter. The past being the past, can Charron’s twenty year experience with them help establish Dark Ministry as a vital force today? For starters, his enthusiasm, drive and passion doesn’t seem to have abated and still seems as youthful as thrash sounded in 1985 and ’86. Remember when speed metal didn’t need the production of mainstream fare to make an impact on the listener? They needed nothing more than that certain inner fire and the ability to capture it on record? Killing Machine, the first song on the band’s debut EP The Sermon Begins, makes a statement I would likely have heard from such seldom seen acts as Artillery, Necronomicon, Cyclone and Razor. Bands not as famous as their well-known counterparts but indicative of the same spirit that pushed them onward. With burning guitars, equally burning lead solos and lyrics about constructing the ultimate gun, this is a decent choice for a first track. Max Neckshredder and David Tyo handle the good old fashioned aggression needed for thrash, and their solos complement the stringent duo of Charron and bassist Carlo Cote. Voodoo Sacrifice picks up the speed and pugnacity of the previous track, with similarities to old Metallica and Testament and leads appreciably resemblant to the late, great Dimebag Darrell. Tyler Knapp’s vocals are compared to those of D.R.I. and Agnostic Front on Metal Scrap’s Bandcamp, though for some reason I’m thinking of John Joseph of Cro Mags. Blood Driven the third and final songs has some elements of classic power metal next to the thrash overtones, with clever riffing and more scorching guitar solos. It’s surprising how much this EP took me back but I’m contented that it did all the same. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Killing Machine 03:08
2. Voodoo Sacrifice 02:41
3. Blood Driven 04:29

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