High Command – Everlasting Torment Review

Fast Rites: because sometimes brevity is fundamental.

Epic fantasy thrash?  Is that a thing?


Can we make it a thing?

Worcester, Mass’s High Command is doing their damnedest to make it a thing, and God bless ‘em for it. Last year’s Beyond The Wall Of Desolation fought its way to a spot on my year-end list. That one was a kick-ass crossover disc with songs about swords and battle and all the whatnot usually associated with the power or traditional sub-genres. It’s an odd pairing, sure, but when the results are as good as Desolation was (and is), it’s more odd that it’s odd at all.

A year-plus removed from that debut full-length, this two-song banger follows right in line with Desolation’s sword-swinging success. Everlasting Torment has got riffs, and those riffs have got fangs; it’s a Torment that’s built on the foundations of swaggering groove and vicious thrashing, with dashes of pomp balanced against Ryan McArdle’s razor-sharp guitars. Think of it as the bastard child of Kreator, Cro-Mags, and something like a Manilla Road, or Power Trip after a lengthy Robert E. Howard binge. The title track goes straight for the epic, with subtle bells underpinning the riffage before all of it kicks into crossoverdrive, thrashing fury balanced against those irresistible grooves. It’s a formula that works so well that follow-up track “Sword Of Wisdom” basically repeats it, to the same gleefully raging result.

The only thing wrong with this Torment is that it’s actually not everlasting — it’s a mere two songs, but if High Command can keep bringing tunes like these two, then whenever LP2 rolls around, I’m ready to go. 

Sharpen your swords, brave warriors, and let us wade into the fray.


Release date: December 4, 2020
Southern Lord

Posted by Andrew Edmunds

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; born in the cemetery, under the sign of the MOOOOOOON...

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