Back in 2014 I was introduced to this US band’s debut “Abomination Underground” which was more or less a compilation of an EP and demo tunes and offered a slice of retro deathrash authenticity that I really enjoyed and tugged on the rancidly drooling heart strings I possess for the old-style sound and approach. 2016 sees the band unleashing a self-titled sophomore and for the first time for this reviewer an actual vinyl to listen to rather than a promo CD or mp3 downloads.
Opening the release is “Blood Everywhere” which fades in with septic distortion and accompanying riff break and cymbal smash as a blackened thrash style is demonstrated alongside the throaty blackened vocal delivery. There is an aura of chaos about this release which renders the album dangerously peering over the edge of a cavernous precipice but works effectively as the opener gives way for the sonic devastation of “Born Again Massacre” possessing blackened riff malice etched into the song. Slowing down, “The Earth Rots In A Grave” has a beastly vocal gurgle that eventually unfurls a fetid riff that reeks of black metal structuring and outright seething malevolence that bands like Sargeist, Craft, Tsjuder, Destroyer 666, Desaster etc write but the difference with this album is the injection of deathrash elements circa the late 1980s with abhorrent riffing and bile ridden spiteful vocals.
You can’t beat a good sample and “Cruelty Through Ripping Torture” has a very appropriate one as the track catapults itself into rotted life with an awesome riff and pin point sonic perversity via the vomitous vocals and insanely fast drumming. I am sure that some will even hear very early Bathory on this track, as I did, as the album hits the brake to reveal a ghoulish mid-section with menacing effectiveness. Breaking ranks for side two the piano piece of “Antietam” leads into “Vultures Feeding” with a chainsawing riff and slow double kick that is very similar to Slayer’s “Hell Awaits” with its build up style and is truly immense as it gathers momentum but keeping the tune slower making it far more macabre and terrifying and is a standout for me on the album. The volatility of this album is palpable as the riffs and scathing vocals are drenched with venomous bass work with “Edge Of Darkness” being particularly potent but extremely catchy in a similar way to Destroyer 666 I mentioned earlier as I am a sucker for the riff break and cymbal smash which they deliver like sledgehammer blows to your rotted carcass.
Closing the album is the psychotic aural virulence of “Paralyzed With Terror” which rips your corpse into shreds with a salvo of slicing riffs coupled to those riff breaks I keep banging on about. This is horrifying and terrorizing album that touches base in death, thrash and black metal but retains an intoxicating ingenuity that breathes like inhaling mustard gas.
(9/10 Martin Harris)