When you are following the Dutch Black Metal scene you must have already heard of Sammath. Already active since ’93 this German/Dutch act is reaping havoc with superb releases such as “Strijd”, “Triumph in Hatred” and the acclaimed “Godless Arrogance” album. It took Sammath five bloody years to come with the follow up of the devastating “Godless Arrogance” album. Luckily for us it was worth waiting so long. Now aided with Wim van der Valk on drums this three piece extreme metal commando has been released out of their cage to plague and destroy everything in their path once again.
This album is a pure indication of the terror of the Second World War. Remember Marduk’s Panzer Division? Yes? Well, Sammath crushes this album to smithereens because this album is sheer terror and horror. On “Across the Rhine is Only Death” Black Metal, combined with some Death Metal elements, is reaching a new level of extremity.
So dear reader, expect no subtlety. As said terror and aggression reigns here. If you listen well enough some melody can be found. Nevertheless just like the horror of war itself Sammath came to crush, mangle and devastate. And well… “Across the Rhine” delivers with the force of a Königstiger!
The album starts with “Savagery” and the title says it all. Pounding, deafening riffs, really fast aggressive drums and an intense throat from both Mr. Kruitwagen and Mr. Nillesen who also rape their (bass) guitar without any remorse in splendid manor. A fast aggressive track which is a good introduction on what to expect on the following seven tracks.
With follow up “All lay Dead in the Slit Trenches of Calcar” pure mayhem, madness and putrid is being offered in the form of a war anthem. Although there is some room for a slightly slower part it still blasts your balls out of your pants. And when you think you are done: “Battletorn”, “Ferocious Mortar Fire”, “Tötenhugel” and the remaining tracks will finish the job for you, leaving you left for dead in the trenches of war.
The only remark I can make: I kind of miss a song which gives some room to breathe. But hey, I think that is just like these guys want it. No remorse, no prisoners just full throttle terror upon your ass. With this amount of aggression it is either enjoying or suffering the ride. For me it is pure enjoyment but I think a lot of pussy ass metalheads will not control their blathers during the ride which “Across the Rhine there is only dead” has to offer. And deservedly so. This is album breathes war and if you cannot take it: let it be.
It is a thrilling journey and has an excellent and clear production. Despite the chaos established on this piece of art the distinguished bass sound of Ruud is recognisable, the guitars are clear and the drums can be heard rearing ferociously. The eight tracks on this album are absolute devastating and pure blinded aggression is being offered here. If you are into this type of extremes: purchase it without hesitation. If you have your doubts: listen to it, if you do not like it crawl back to your mamma and piss off!
Score: 8,3 out of 10
Label: Hammerheart Records
Review by: Erik
2. All Lay Dead in the Slit Trenches of Calcar
4. Ferocious Mortal Fire
6. Blood Ridden Fields
7. Bitter Fighting Amongst the Dead
8. Across the Rhine is Only Death