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Album Reviews : Desecrator – To The Gallows

By on March 23, 2017

Desecrator are a big deal in Australian metal circles. The renowned thrashers from Victoria have hundreds of shows under their belts, including international tours in South East Asia, Europe, Russia, Mexico and Brazil, a live album, and you’d assume a handful of studio albums too, right? Wrong! Somewhat surprisingly 2017’s To the Gallows is the band’s debut full length album.

On one hand I find the fact that Desecrator have waited all this time to record a full length album very surprising – in this day and age it’s never been easier to record and release music so it seems odd that such an established band have achieved what they have without a full length studio release.

But on the other hand I really respect and appreciate the fact that Desecrator have waited to record their debut. Many debut independent releases can suffer from a  bands over-enthusiasm to record and release their songs. In this instance Desecrator have 6 years of experience under their belts, crafting their sound and honing their chops. The result is To the Gallows, an exceptionally mature release for a debut album, and a release which certainly lives up to the reputation which Desecrator have built to date.

The album kicks off with the title track To the Gallows. Its a belter of a tune from start to finish but I particularly like the second half of the song (from 3:40) where they play around with tempo and feel to create the perfect backdrop for neck destruction!

Desert For Days and Red Steel Nation have a distinctly patriotic flavour to them, and you can just tell that Red Steel nation in particular would be absolutely crushing in the live setting. Track 4, As I Die, is a mid tempo ballad cut from the same sort of cloth as the classic ‘tallica tracks Fade to Black and Welcome Home (Sanitarium). I doubt it’s a coincidence that these were also track #4 on their respective releases.

From here on in the album is balls to the wall thrash as you would expect. It’s a very consistent back half of an album, but Brainscan stands out for being particularly riff-tastic. You’ve also got to love Thrash is a Verb – a rallying cry for any patched-up-denim-wearing thrash fan, and again a song which you know has been tailor made for the live setting.

The production of the album is really honest. The drums sound organic and guitar tones have a rawness about them which I really respect. It’s fitting that a band who have made such a same for themselves playing live haven’t released an overly produced record.

The Aussie thrash scene is really thriving. The scene in Melbourne seems to be particularly strong. The nostalgic side of me wants to draw comparisons to the iconic San Francisco bay area scene in the 1980’s, but perhaps that’s overstating things a little. Having said that with all of Desecrator, Harlott and Mason releasing new albums in 2017 you get the feeling that the Melbourne scene has the potential to be recognised on a global scale. Desecrator’s debut studio album is a damn solid effort –  well worth the wait – and certainly flies the flag for Aussie Thrash metal in the best possible way.

Band: Desecrator
Album: To The Gallows
Year: 2017
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: Nerve Gas
Origin: Australia


Chris is a long time metal enthusiast and advocate for Australian heavy music scene. Chris grew up in Perth, Western Australia and is a past member of modern melodeath act Let's Kill Uncle. Currently residing in London, UK.