This one is a monster, folks. The elventh full-length from Schledamn's Sinister is a slab of pure, grade A, 110% old-fashioned extreme metal intensity, conjuring up memories of early death metal bands such as Morbid Angel, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse, Vader, Vomitory, and latter-day Immolation. And some influence from a few younger acts like Nile, (latter-day) Krisiun, Dying Fetus, and Hate Eternal also come into play at several various points throughout 2014's "The Post-Apocalyptic Servant." The end result is a record that possesses the same motto as what a football coach should expect from his team on the eve of the biggest game of their lives: Fired up and ready to play! (What this translates to in a more literal sense is producing grinding, rip-roaring speeds, impeccable musicianship, and exceptional technicality.)
The songs continuously balance ear-catching groove with all-out, nerve-damaging extreme metal chaos. The record begins in skull-cracking fashion, with "The Science Of Prophecy" being a jackhammer-fast blast fest of pummeling drums, thrashy, racing guitar leads, Frank Mullen-meets-Chris Barnes-meets-David Vincent-esque vocal stylings, and blistering solos. And "The Macabre God" follows this up in suitably crushing fashion, as it, too, overflows with thunderous riffage, cracking grindcore blasts, and evil, visceral vocals. (The drummer is of particular note, here, as he is heard riding a tight, stop-start pattern pretty much all-throughout "Macabre God," but another blazing, careening guitar solo also rips the air, in this song, too.) But immediately following up these two exercises in scorched earth devastation, "T.P.A.S." then proceeds to explore some more restrained territory, dipping into chugging, Bolt Thrower-sounding grooves on cuts such as "The Sculpture Of Insanity," "The End Of All That Conquers" (which features an unorthodoxly ripping guitar solo section), and "The Dome Of Pleasure."
"The Masquerade Of An Angel" is another very possible highpoint, as it is a blistering and almost purely thrashy scorcher of a song with some noteworthy bass work (two excellent bass solos are slipped into the mix at various points throughout the number). And this track, the album's centerpiece, is also highlighted by some particularly strong and infectious hooks, a few well-placed and breakneck fast tempo change-ups, and another fiery, shred-happy solo section. Elsewhere, the title track is another thundering drum blast and blistering riff-fest that, again, sounds positively awesome, even as it beats the listener down into submission at 3,000 BPM; and the Slayer-iffic, foundation-shaking "The Art Of Skin Decoration" like-mindedly features careening, Slayer/Sepultura-esque guitar leads, and scalding riffage galore. And this is, naturally, to go along with the track's musical bed, which is comprised mainly of frenetic, machine gunning percussion. But the arrangements do make room for a very surprisingly melodic solo section to rip the air, though, too.
And rounding out the set are two final gems in "The Saviour" and "The Burden Of Mayhem." The former is home to some of the record's most individually memorable riffs -- and what thunderous, abrasive, and gear-grinding riffs, they are too! -- as well as another especially excellent performance from drummer Toep Duin. Indeed, Duin might opt to fill this song with plenty of earthquake blasting, but also is sure to include plenty of variation, including some non-double-bass-driven sections, and smart, crashing cymbal patterns. And the latter of these two tracks ("Mayhem") is also highlighted by some more excellent, meaty riff slices and thunderously chugging rhythms, but is mainly of note for featuring a terrifically portentous and ominous, spoken-word dialogue vocal line. And some more respectably ripping solo flights are also utilized here, and to excellent effect. (The solo section is abnormally lengthier and more epic in this song than in most.)
Brutal. Crushing. Uncompromising. All of which are phrases -- check that, compliments -- that could -- check that, SHOULD -- be used to describe "The Post Apocalyptic Servant." Seriously, folks, this is one piece of music that might not reinvent the death metal wheel, but one that most certainly greases the axles until they squeak. As a result, it is very highly recommended that all fans of satisfying, meat-and-potatoes death metal buy this platter of satiating, meat-and-potatoes death metal from Sinister. It is, after all, an easy to love effort from a band have already all-but clinched its status as one of the most criminally underappreciated in the Nineties.