Helsinki denizens Demonztrator started life as a cover band – their first full length album saw them interpreting lost Finnish metal classics – but here, on album number two, they prove themselves adept at writing their own material. Sure, there are times when you hear some influences seeping through – Into The Mouth of Madness has a title that might well have been ripped out of one of Dave Mustaine‘s notebooks and has more than a whiff of Slayer about it musically – but for the most part these guys plough their own furrow. And a very nice furrow it is too…

Jökä Reinholm and Timo Ahlström are an impressive guitar pairing, whipping up a splendid riffstorm on tracks like Crossing The Rubicon, which also features some impressive, raw-edged bellowing from Juri Hurskainen; here the band exist at the crossroads between death and thrash metal, and it must be said that they manage to create genuine excitement despite playing things pretty straight musically. There are few surprises here, musically, but when the harmony leads soar, or the chugging starts, it’s hard not to get carried away with the band’s enthusiasm and sheer, unalloyed skill!

Best track Scavenger of War adds some Teutonic fury to the mix – it’s as good as anything on the last couple of Kreator albums – and features some great work by drummer Jukka Ahlström and rhythm buddy Jukkis Lappalainen, who are both nothing less than stellar throughout.

We’re approaching the middle of November now, and there’s a fair chance you’ve heard some pretty good bands over the course of what has been an excellent year for ‘our kind of music’; However, there won’t be many bands who attack the task at hand in quite such compelling, engrossing fashion as Demonztrator. They know what they like, and aren’t looking to invent any new thrash metal wheels, but within the parameters they’ve set for themselves they appear to be nigh on invincible – and as a consequence Sinister Forces of Hatred is well worth some of your time!

Sinister Forces of Hatred is out now.