Death metal and thrash metal make such a good pairing that even the nickname for the combination sounds good: "death thrash," needing no slashes, hyphens, or additional descriptors to get the point across. Living up to the classification, however, does require a certain acumen -- delivering the punishing impact of death metal while retaining thrash metal's vital energy. Californian death thrashers Madrost, with their upcoming fourth full-length album Charring the Rotting Earth, have developed a precise recipe for the sound that yields explosive results. Test out the volatile compound for yourself: stream "To Prevail the Wicked" now.

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Extreme metal can often seem chaotic, but "To Prevail the Wicked" is just the opposite: pure, malevolent order. The slicing impact of the riffs on this track, meticulously crafted into pristine formations as they are, set the song apart for me instantly. There's absolutely no mud here -- just razor sharp structures of lethal steel. Relentlessly bolstered by double bass and dotted with lurching screams, "To Prevail the Wicked" cuts deep and purposefully.

That groundwork sets up the melodic parts of the song to really rip, letting the delightful solos and leads ring out over the grittier bits in perfect cohesion. New on this album is keyboardist Sam Meador -- though not an ever-present part of the band's sound, here he adds a supernatural sting to this track's midsection and outro, adding color and character.

It all comes together nicely, both in this track and in the full offering. Bringing together clockwork precision and retro-minded lasting appeal, Charring the Rotting Earth progresses Madrost's sound without straying from the righteous path of death thrash destruction.

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Charring The Rotting Earth releases September 25th via No Life til Metal Records.


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