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Imminent Descent: Imminent Descent 

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The thrash-death outfit Imminent Descent, San Antonio's latest attempt to recapture the glory of its mid-'80s metal scene, makes no bones about the oldness of its school. Intro track "Descendit" recalls Bathory and Mercyful Fate, while the frantic riffery on "Spirit Reiver" and "Commited" pay a respectful homage to both the classic thrash of the '80s and the melodic death metal of early '90s Gothenburg. Sadly, most songs are plagued by sophomoric lyrics that read as if the writer had been sealed up in a basement in childhood with only Pop Tarts and early Slayer LPs for sustenance. Thankfully, Mike Arreaga and Austin Zettner's laudable, ear-tickling guitars overshadow such silliness. "Subjugation of the Tidekeeper" is a bizarre tale of a Mustakrakish seabeast that allows Eddie Lubin to try his hand at clean singing, Swedish rasp, and falsetto harmonies. "2012" ends the album on a high note, with admirable acoustic and solo work peppered with strings and varying vocal styles. These last two songs demonstrate Imminent Descent's capacity for scary and mature songwriting, and hopefully set the tone for what this promising band might do next.

★★★ 1/2 (out of 5 stars)

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