Barbarian - Faith Extinguisher

Barbarian Faith Extinguisher cover
Faith Extinguisher
Doomentia Records
Barbarian are an Italian band that worships in the altar of all things early Celtic Frost & Hellhammerish without obviously coming close to the Swiss grandmasters of the genre. The go for the same proto-thrash/black that’s basic and primal and to the point without any higher artistic aspirations with guttural vocals and the best thing going on for them being the engaging guitar riffs and the overall “evil” and “threatening” atmosphere, a sort of area where they manage to do pretty well. Classically, a Trio, they exhibit the strengths of that configuration as well as the usual weaknesses, but in our case, with the bar, not set too high, the guys don't have too many hurdles to overcome.
The opener “Faith Extinguisher” is a fine example of a fiery and feisty opener, that mixes a NWOBHM type of riff, with all the demonic wrath that one could invoke from hell and delivers it from its iron lungs with such fury that it would extinguish even the most ardent believers hopes for deliverance, leaving only ashes in its wake.
“Inhale the Dead” is a mid-paced crunchy crusher that follows, but it somehow, fails to reach the same level of excitement, after such an opener, but it's not a bad track as per se.
Another nice example is “Godless, Amoral and Proud” a slower, more tyrannically paced that brings to mind the wrathful and joyless style of some of the bands compatriots…. hehe.
However “Total Metal” that comes hot on its heels just crushes everything down like a wrecking ball, offering damnation for all, spreading its plagued carcass all over...
“Fools of Golgotha” continues, on the same path of malediction and blasphemy and keeps the pace high and the riffs sharp as steel.
“Crux et Circenses” offers a bit of a change of pace, just a bit before the end... with its slow, almost plodding riffing and almost swampy rhythm that make it a lot heavier... but it ain’t until the final track, the rather self-describing “We are Profane” (no way – I thought you were Sunday-school goers) that the bands seems to manage its crowning achievement... a track that manages to pull all stops and combine heaviness, a nice pace that changes throughout from slower to faster and back and forth and overall good combination of what made the tracks that worked on the album previously work.
Overall, an honest “meat and potatos” “frosty flavored” album, that won’t disappoint the fans of the genre. Nothing new and nothing particularly earth shattering, but quite decent!