Like Rats – II (Southern Lord)

Genre: Extreme Metal

It’s a fair bet that Like Rats like a bit of Celtic Frost –  listen to the opening bars of II’s From Beyond for instance and you’re transported into the dark heart of Morbid Tales or To Mega Therion (you’ll even notice a very Tom G. Warrior-esque grunt as the tune kicks off).

Meld that Frost worship some hardcore stomp and the kind of sonic annihilation associated with Nails or Trap Them, and you have a brutal little brew that’s perfect for a dingy, graffiti-daubed basement bar.

Immortal Coil is a highlight; it delivers a flurry of punches before settling into an addictive groove, complemented by one of the best riffs on the album. The mid-paced Gates also shows the Chicago outfit at their crunching best: fuelled by a primal energy and executed with pure malevolence, the track will have you punching through walls.

However, II is also underwhelming at times, the hooks not powerful enough to take hold, the primitive assault almost too simple on songs like Primordial or Pandemic of Fear. There was a spark of genius which ignited Celtic Frost’s worK , but that magic ingredient is mostly absent here… and no amount of grimy riffs will make up for it.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 6/10 Warrior-like