DARK MINISTRY "The Sermon Begins" 2017
/Total Metal Records/

Tracklist:
1. Killing Machine 03:08
2. Voodoo Sacrifice 02:41
3. Blood Driven 04:29
Total playing time: 10:23

 

desert near the end 2016

 

 

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Dark Ministry comes from Canada and were founded in 2015.by ex long time Exciter drummer Rik Charron and this is their debut e.p. that is here to prepare us for the coming full length album.
The e.p. contains three tracks of darker thrash metal with some classic heavy metal influences but I can also hear some hardcore influence, mainly in singing, or better said shouting. “Killing Machine” is classic thrash aggressive song made to mosh to a guitar driven wall of sound coming from the speakers. Vocals are shouted like many hardcore bands do and they fit perfectly in the song. The second song “Voodoo Sacrifice” is more melodic, having excellent main guitar melody, dark but memorable and also some great hooks in the song. Loved it! The third and final song “Blood Driven” is very brutal and rough and full of anger. I loved every single minute of this e.p. and cant wait for the new material and a full length album.

8/10
vladkraykulla (https://kraykulla.wordpress.com)

World Of Metal 5Formados em agosto de 2015 pelo exbaterista dos Exciter Rik Charron, cujo cumculo inclui quase 20 anos com lendâria banda do Canada, “The Sermon Begins” marca a estreia oficial, embora em formato EP, dos Dark Ministry. Très temas, que iräo ser incluidos no futuro album estreia, num assalto sönico puro Heavy / Thrash Me¬tal, de feroz intensidade e agressividade, muito sölido cheio de arranjos old-school, com mudanças ritmicas poderosas em linha com Metallica e até Pantera, deixando âgua na boca para o que possa vir no futuro! A nâo perder de vista. Uma agradâvel surpresa.

9/10
Miguel Correia (World Of Metal #5)

Here we have the debut recording of Canadian based thrashers Dark Ministry. Formed by ex-Exciter drummer Rik Charron, the band delivers an amalgam of a few different styles of Metal with The Sermon Begins on Metal Scrap Records.
First and foremost, this is a Thrash recording. I was expecting a bit more of the Speed Metal style based on Charron’s past, but the band knows how to groove as well as infuse the music with speed. A notable element of the band is vocalist Tyler Knapp, whose barking, almost hardcore delivery sets apart Dark Ministry from other more traditional Thrash bands. I’m not saying it works perfectly, but it’s a little different, out of the norm.
This quick blast out of Ottawa consists of just three tracks, clocking in at just ten and a half minutes. Each is aggressive, but the opener Killing Machine is the crunchiest of the trio. The combination of hammering riffs through the verses and the more melodic approach in the choruses proves to be a potent brew. Knapp sounds quite angry and is, at the least, passionate. His occasional screams are nearly bone-chilling. The middle track ramps up the tempo. Voodoo Sacrifice features more of the guttural screams and I’m digging the Priest-like guitar leads. It actually comes across as a bit tighter in execution than Killing Machine, but at 2:40 seems a little short. Blood Driven seems somewhat sloppy, especially right at the beginning. It’s just not as interesting as the other two songs.
Two out of three ain’t bad – and the third song isn’t terrible, I just don’t find it to be as compelling as the other songs. A good introduction to the band. Maybe not the most original thing going, but Dark Ministry is true to Metal and The Sermon Begins should bang some heads.

3/6
Harley (We Love Metal)

This Canadian thrash/metal band has the distinction of having been founded by Rik Charron, the former drummer of Exciter. The past being the past, can Charron’s twenty year experience with them help establish Dark Ministry as a vital force today? For starters, his enthusiasm, drive and passion doesn’t seem to have abated and still seems as youthful as thrash sounded in 1985 and ’86. Remember when speed metal didn’t need the production of mainstream fare to make an impact on the listener? They needed nothing more than that certain inner fire and the ability to capture it on record? Killing Machine, the first song on the band’s debut EP The Sermon Begins, makes a statement I would likely have heard from such seldom seen acts as Artillery, Necronomicon, Cyclone and Razor. Bands not as famous as their well-known counterparts but indicative of the same spirit that pushed them onward. With burning guitars, equally burning lead solos and lyrics about constructing the ultimate gun, this is a decent choice for a first track. Max Neckshredder and David Tyo handle the good old fashioned aggression needed for thrash, and their solos complement the stringent duo of Charron and bassist Carlo Cote. Voodoo Sacrifice picks up the speed and pugnacity of the previous track, with similarities to old Metallica and Testament and leads appreciably resemblant to the late, great Dimebag Darrell. Tyler Knapp’s vocals are compared to those of D.R.I. and Agnostic Front on Metal Scrap’s Bandcamp, though for some reason I’m thinking of John Joseph of Cro Mags. Blood Driven the third and final songs has some elements of classic power metal next to the thrash overtones, with clever riffing and more scorching guitar solos. It’s surprising how much this EP took me back but I’m contented that it did all the same.

Dave Wolff (AEA ZINE)

In 2014, Rik Charron, drummer of Canada's legendary speed metal act Exciter left after nearly 20 years of service. The reason appears to be that the band's only remaining original member, guitarist John Ricci first announced his retirement before reconsidering and reforming the band with the original line-up.
The following year, Dark Ministry was born.
Rik, who turns 50 just before Yule-time, has recruited four unknown younglings to continue what he does best, hammer out speed/thrash.
Expand/Collapse
The EP The Sermon Begins consists of three tracks divided over ten minutes, and was completed half an eternity ago. In early February, the band announced that they'd been signed by Metal Scrap Records, and the release is finally out through the sub-label Total Metal.
My relationship to thrash has largely been restricted to the dark side. Early black/thrash and other thrash with dark undertones have always appealed more than colourful covers and themes marked by radioactive mutations. But despite limited knowledge I have never discarded heavy metal's rapid devil spawn: speed metal.
Killing Machine goes straight to work with thrashing riffs. The combination of driving riffs and rhythms form the core before the solo lifts the track a little higher. The vocals are a bit to “talkative” for my taste, and gives the song a touch of Anthrax's distinctive approach to the genre. Something that doesn't quite make sense as Anthrax was the thash metal band with the vocalist who actually sang.
Voodoo Sacrifice is the shortest of the songs, and it doesn't take long before the guitar-fireworks are launched. The downside is the sequences where guitar and drums goes monotonically on repeat and leaves the stage to singer Tyler Knapp who drag the music in the wrong direction with groovy hardcore-punk and semi-rap vocals. Or something. The style is beyond my expertise. More cool guitar parts drag the track back in the right direction, though.
Blood Driven is the third and last song, and yet another example of speedy metal with elements from heavy, thrash and death. Energetic drumming finishes off a short EP with vital guitars which this time keeps the vocalist more in check. With more diversity, more metal and a more meaningful solo, this is undoubtedly a personal favourite.
With two guitars in decent interaction, it's desirable to see more thorough duels, but one can always hope for better exploited twin guitars on the upcoming album. Twelve tracks intended for the album debut is long since written.
As you already realize, I have a taste for the riffs, drumming, solos and the flow in general. The song content could, however, have been somewhat stronger, and the vocals lowers the impression on my part.
The music is nevertheless absolutely alright. At its best, I'm really digging what is delivered. Less picky bastards might savour this a few notches more than me. Nice cover art, by the way.

Midding
Gorger's Metal

Dark Ministry is a up-and-coming metal band that hails from Ottawa, Canada and is fronted by Tyler Knapp. Formed in August of 2015 by drummer Rik Charron (ex-Exciter), "The Sermon Begins" serves as the studio debut for this (extreme) five-piece band and it includes the songs "Killing Machine", "Voodoo Sacrifice", and "Blood Driven". All three tracks offer a slightly different (and yet thoroughly enjoyable!) approach to old-school metal/vintage thrash with the only true connection being the hardcore/crossover voice of Tyler Knapp. Tyler's vocal style might not be suited to every one's tastes, but as a long-time fan of harsh and aggressive metal vocalists I couldn't help but appreciate the edgy attitude that it gives "The Sermon Begins"! Otherwise you can expect razor sharp lead solos, pounding drums, and thick bass riffs on this short, but most certainly recommend(!), 3-track EP. With more than enough material for a full-length album at their disposal, Dark Ministry could easily prove to be a force to be reckoned with down the line.
* Along with eighties thrash and the crossover-appeal that is offered by way of it's lead vocalist, Dark Ministry's "The Sermon Begins" has flashes of ("Painkiller"-era) Judas Priest, Anvil, and (not surprising given the drummer involved) later day Exciter.

ANDY (Heavy Metal Time Machine)

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