British Spearhead is a band that has earned its spurs a long time ago. Since their inception in 2005, Spearhead has unleashed the albums “Deathless Steel Command” (2005), “Decrowning the Irenarch” (2007) and “Theomachia” (2011). After this last album, things went quiet for a while. Up until now. Long standing members Barghest (vocals and bass) and Invictus (rhythm guitars) are joined by Typhon (Mark Smith of death metallers Throne of Nails) on drums, and Praetorian (Kevin Dixon, formerly of Jeff Walker acolytes Diamanthian) on lead guitars.
Spearhead are already renowned for their tightly executed, rabid death metal. Despite the long wait, “Pacifism is Cowardice” is a logical next step in the bands career. First of all, the production is quite well done. Clear yet brutal, the sound is full and overwhelming. Complex layered riffs flow frenetically over the rabid drums, that barely leave you an opportunity to breathe. The riffwork and intensity more than once remind me of US bands like Malevolent Creation or the mighty Angelcorpse. Brazilian masters Rebaelliun is another name that pops up. Due to solid musicianship, Spearhead never lose their grip on the whirlwind of instruments set loose.
I love how Spearhead utilizes slow parts with atmospheric effects. Just listen to the great guitar lead on the doomy end part of “Violence Revolt Ruination”. Perfectly executed and in quality, this song is right up there with Intestine Baalisms excellent “An Anatomy of the Beast”. The lead guitars are a highlight on the album anyway, I particulary like the leads on “The Elysian Ideal”.
All in all, a good comeback for this band. A more than decent albums with a few songs that really peak. Another good release from Invictus Productions, who seem to have a knack for the type of metal I like. (Stijn)