EctovoidI must admit I was attracted to this band via their name, and in the past I’ve bought some stuff just based on a band’s name as I was anticipating some grim down tuned deathly thuggery to come my way, which it did via this US three piece on their second album. The morbid cover also hints at the gut disembowelling pus I was about to indulge in as well.

The fade in of distorted guitar and noise on “Obscure Altars”, which starts the album, is filthy and layered in tar like murk before the riff is unleashed amid a gush of muffled snare. Initially the sound felt a little lacking in treble but as the ears attune to the grim sludge it suits it perfectly and has that disgorging rancour of Autopsy and Abscess where oozing grime is favoured over slick lustre. The riff to start “Visions Of Reflective Decay” is grubby possessing that sewer culvert drawl of ominous gelatinous pungency. I’ve seen references to this band being a black death outfit but that is totally false as these guys exude a rotted malfeasance that bands like Death Breath, Bonesaw, Cardiac Arrest, Obliteration etc have done so. There is also a punk feel to some of the riffs on here, that hazardous raw style but within a death metal rhythm section of stampeding double kick and bass that sounds like it has ropes for strings especially on “Mental Netherworlds”.

Elongated for maximum demolition “Precipice Of Absolute Chaos” has a slimy slow riff giving it a pugnacious style before the cymbal smashes punch massive holes for the blasting to start. The sound is seismically low as though enduring the aftershocks of a massive tectonic shift as the bass and kick drums create a spurting broiling rumble even on a neutral bass hifi system. Again starting slowly is “Rituals Of Hallucination” where that Autopsy feel is ever more evident as it raises its head above the grimy surface. I am a sucker for riff breaks and cymbal smashes that splice a songs fluidity as they create a starting point for the song to hit the accelerator and stick two muddy fingers up in anarchic defiance. Old school “A Prisoner Of Paradox” has a frenzied style you wouldn’t find amiss on Impetigo or even Repulsion stuff back in the 80s. Coupled to the stench ridden drums and bass is the riffing which excretes catchiness in its own warped manner giving the listener plenty of sonic gristle to munch over especially the punishing riff breaks. Closing this filth fest is “Spawned From Unending Mystery” which starts in half blast style before chopping down into straight laced thuggery as that double kick resonates within the core of the song. Staunchly devoid of any sort of finesse Ectovoid’s sophomore release is a lesson in gutter trawling violence.

(8/10 Martin Harris)