We Love Metal

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)

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