Depopulate – Till Man Exists No More (Self Released)
Infernal Death – Gniew (Pyscho Records)
Infidel – Eviscerate Yourself (Old Temple Records)
Masachist – Scorned (Selfmadegod Records)
Our Editor chose to pass on four CDs to me during his recent jaunt to the Full Moon Dog festival as every release is by a Polish band, making this a brief round up of those releases that begins with Depopulate whose killing spree death metal rampage has similarities to brutalising bands such as Vader, Decapitated to name fellow countrymen and Monstrosity or Cannibal Corpse for further afield. This is comparatively stripped down death metal that uses a thudding drum section to underpin the rasping and coarse guitar sound that encapsulates the essence of brutalism without resorting to the 2 chords and chug technique of some slam bands, though there is plain evidence that Depopulate like deathcore too, based on the odd breakdown that sneaks in on “Deranged Slice” and “Pandemic Lust”. Vocally the guy has the tone of the Balrog in Lord Of The Rings when it roars; guttural and menacing. Not altogether groundbreaking but not in any way a slack release Depopulate display punishing deathliness.
Infernal Death are one of six acts with the same name according to Encyclopaedia Metallum as this version has been around since 1991, split in ’95 then resurfaced in 2010 with a promo before unleashing this album which also has the “Twilight Tales” demo from 1991 tacked on the end. The intro is short-lived as a clean guitar sound is used similar to that off Morbid Angel’s debut. Again we get old school death metal with the emphasis on super speedy picking alongside a steady rhythm section. I do like the riff interruptions which possess a late 80s deathrash crossover when thrash wanted to be heavier. There are plenty of Scandinavian touches here too with the late 80s being such a fertile ground for this stuff at the time, any number of reference points could be cited such as demo Grave, demo Dismember, etc, etc. Some of the guitar pieces are inspired by Death and even Chuck’s pre-Death outfit Mantas. The production afforded is sparse with the guitar sound being sharp like shards of fragmented glass. This is an aggressive album with the speed firmly elevated throughout with only the odd guitar breaks halting the snare attack. Comparing the new stuff to the demo added here is difficult as the demo’s production is muddy and tough to listen to after the cleaner album. They would have been better having the demo as a free download for people to check out than put it on here, though it is obvious the riffing style has remained with the band even if a new guitarist is in the ranks.
Infidel’s (there are eight with the same name as this band for your information) “Eviscerate Yourself” is the only release here that ventures outside death metal with the band adding blackened ferocity to their five song invasion. The guitar sound is bleaker as is the drum sound which has that resonating echoing stature about it which for some will mean under-produced rather than harnessing the spirit of early 90s black metal. There’s really nothing here that Carpathian Forest, Dark Funeral or mid era 1349 don’t do a whole lot better. I have no problem with the song writing but with this being their second release I would expect that garnering more experience would increase the song writing proficiency more. Think of it as when Marduk did “Dark Endless” then followed it with “Those Of The Unlight” just for comparison sakes, not musically though. This is a raw sheet of primal black metal malevolence that won’t appeal to newer black metal fans of say Watain but will to those wanting their black metal unfettered by modernistic production values.
Final and definitely the best band here in the round up is Masachist whose logo I don’t like, far too messy unlike their powerhouse death metal onslaught. Masachist take their cue from a more modern death metal stance though the vocals are a ringer for George Fisher (Cannibal Corpse). Opening with the head stomping “Drilling The Nerves” the double kick rumbles along like a train, as the riffs take on a slower more sludge like assault. The change in double kick is immense and super fast creating variety and texture in the song. The guitar tone adopted on “The Process Of Elimination” has traits of Voivod surprisingly having that clanging vibe to it, though the music is entrenched in pulverising the listener to mushy oblivion. Musically I hear Blood Red Throne, Sinister and also a newer act like Ad Patres such is the punishing blast snare which doesn’t resort to the gravity roll style, preferring a traditional proper hand blast. There is no let up on “Scorned” the band savages the listener with unadulterated viciousness, though each song is tempered with slower Cannibal Corpse juggernaut riffs such as on “Straight And Narrow Path”. Occasionally the speed beggars belief with Germans Obscenity coming to mind on “Liberation”. I do need to mention the guitar sound again which takes on various guises of tone throughout the album, as though trying to capture the essence of what each is song is about through it. The massive seven minute plus Immolation barrage of “Inner Void” is very good, building nicely with slow purposeful beats that have a haunting almost doom feel as this is the slowest tune here on an album that pounds the listener for the most part.