Seeing the cover art and logo for Ablaze, I was instantly drawn to it. I expected old school evil death metal. For the most part I was right. Researching the band, I was very shocked to find out they’ve been active since 1995, really only active with full lengths since 2003. This is the 4th full length for the Slovakian quintet since that year.

Opening with a piano piece that sounds like it could be an intro to a horror movie; it rolls right into the first track which opens with drums and a bass line. It’s a little odd as it sounds like it’s going to be straight groove, but that quickly changes as the double bass and blasting drums take over. They rarely let up from that point out. Groove parts do return here and there.

As I said, this release is straight up old school and would fit perfectly in the 90s. At times it reminds me of Immolation and at others Pestilence. They’re really not trying to push the envelope any further than death metal’s heyday. That is perfectly fine, as they do it quite well. However, the album tends to lack in areas because of it. This has all been done before. Regardless of how well they execute the songs, it tends to drag often.

Ablaze is not a bad album by any means, it’s just nothing I could pop on frequently and get stoked about it. I’d much rather listen to the classics from Immolation or other bands that Ablaze are worshiping. Those bands just did it better and thus leaving this release as very solid, but nothing too far above average.