By: Ryan Brassard
The Shackles of Mammon
Dark Descent Records
14 April 2017
It has been four years since the release of Craven Idol’s banger of a debut, Towards Escheton (Dark Descent Records). I have reached back to this album on numerous occasions and still admire its brilliance from start to finish. The only problem with delving out such a great debut is the tendency for a sophomore slump. I can tell you undeniably that The Shackles of Mammon does not slump in the least; it is a full-on step up from Towards Escheton in every way.
London’s Craven Idol does well in integrating a myriad of influences into their tremendously catchy sound. You can hear a strong foundation of Black Thrash in the vein of Deströyer 666 and Desaster, a steady dose of early Black Metal a la Venom and Bathory, with some Swedish Death woven into the seams. Thrown together, The Shackles of Mammon show a mastery of unrelenting punishment in the form of superior song composition set to a blistering pace.
The highlights for me were the second track “Ripping Strike,” and the seminal bookend track, “Tottering Cities of Men.” The latter is utterly impressive, contains an excellent riff that is memorable to say the least, and displays how far Craven Idol has improved across the board. The Shackles of Mammon is fast, heavy, and would fit nicely in a collection containing such staples as Unleashed’s Hammer Battalion, Absu’s self-titled masterpiece, and Gospel of Horns’ A Call to Arms.