Experimental death metal is always a risky path for any band to go down. Ultimately only the fans will decide whether throwing some atmospheric, film score-esque segments into an otherwise brutal album will add some depth and variety to it or make it flop harder than that Morbid Angel album that shall not be named. Thankfully, French five piece Post-Mortem’s first full length release God with Horns has struck the balance perfectly between a unique, more atmospheric sound and good old fashioned death metal.
Having been fluctuating between melo-death/thrash and death metal since 1995, Post – Mortem are most definitely back in the game with God With Horns, a nine track rollercoaster of an album which keeps the listener on their toes throughout. There are brutal growls, gang vocals, thumping, groove laden riffs sat right next to clean, grunge style singing and string interludes. Thankfully, death metal is the dominant, over riding force on the album, with more experimental fragments thrown in sporadically.
The wonderfully gory titled fourth track “Eat the Cadaver” is by far the best track on the album. With a powerful opening riff and deep, gravelly vocals, this potent and punchy number sounds distinctly like Bloodbath at points. Seventh song Void Millennium Genesis is also a firm runner up for best song on the album, with its fast, relentless noise and brutally infectious chorus so powerful that it draws comparisons with Belgian legends Aborted occasionally.
The real pattern breakers on God with Horns would have to be third song Rules of Death and title track God with Horns. Despite opening with blast beats and a speedy riff, Rules of Death throws in some unsuspecting clean singing into the mix which catches the listener completely off guard and almost takes the song down a questionable melo-death route. Title track God with Horns adds some more eerie and atmospheric sounds into the mix with a very experimental end featuring a string section, electronic drums and operatic vocals.
God with Horns is a modern death metal album with its heart and soul firmly in the old school. Post Mortem have combined both the guttural and brutal elements of bands such as Dying Fetus (especially so on the vocals) Bloodbath and Decrepit Birth with the more weird and wonderful sounds of experimental acts such as Fleshgod Apocalypse. God with Horns is a fantastic album for those who like to be kept on the edge of their seat throughout.
(7/10 Eilish Foxen)