Not so much shoving dirt under metal’s fingernails as ripping the fingers off completely and using them as toothpicks, Ravens Creed are a fine example of the enduring power of utter filth.
The British miscreants’ third album deviates little from the template of deeply obnoxious and crusty punk metal that has long informed the band’s brawling diatribes, with all the usual, unmistakable shades of Discharge, Venom, Hellhammer and Autopsy fighting it out in a drunken, speed-fuelled haze.
What sets this apart from most likeminded rackets is that Ravens Creed’s mastery of the form seems instinctive rather than cynical. Rock Cemetery and Bitten By Witch Fever exhibit an authenticity that has been arrived at almost accidentally, rather than as a result of some cooler-than-thou attempt to keep heavy music in mothballs.
Like a Viking raid on a student sleepover, this bursts in, smashes everything and then departs, cackling maniacally and leaving a trail of bloody diarrhoea on the carpet. Plus, Riding The Pillock is the best – and most gloriously British – songtitle of the year so far.