Thrash albums and war…..they go together like cheese ‘n’ pickle. Fuckin’ tasty when done right, bloody awful if you’ve mistreated your veg or allowed your cheese to go mouldy. Weird analogy aside, the debut album from Italian thrashers Cruentator is a Kreator-worshipping thrash album based around the concept of, you’ve guessed it, WAR!
By proxy, it should be a blast, right? Take a bus load of Kreator riffs from the late 80’s, smack the living shit out of your drums until all sense of pace is lost amongst the barrage and snarl and growl your way into nuclear oblivion. Easy!
And that’s exactly what Cruentator do on Ain’t War Hell?….they just don’t do it particularly well. Sure, they’re barbaric enough, but thrash needs a sense of structure to hit hardest and simply thrashing away without a semblance of real identity doesn’t quite cut it anymore.
“Barbaric Violence” builds up a heady steam but lacks that killer riff while the full-tilt insanity of “Evil Is Prowling Around” also has its moments, they just happen to be few and far between.
With only 8 tracks to plow through it’s unfortunate that this proves to be such a slog. Cruentator can thrash, they just need to finesse their merciless extermination in order to win the war! 5/10