While this may be the third album by this Russian quartet and their first full length on their current label, it’s the brand of aggressive death metal they deliver that should have had them noticed a lot longer ago. Or perhaps it was the 5-year hiatus between releases, making that nearly 8 between albums.
Either way opening title track “Cursed Seeds” begins gently enough to allow you to get comfortable before Lev Kurgansky’s blasting drums and Max “Shaman” Stepanov roared vocals do what they can to eviscerate you, and if they don’t get you then Sergey “Bor” Borisov and Pavel “Arte” Smirnov’s guitars shall certainly do the job. However there are slower passages in the song where the popping bass works things in another direction than the manic leads when they come to the fore.
The slower and steadier “Age of Madness” is still littered with blast fills as the guitars maintain their choppy pace and the sustained roars keep a pace all their own.
While the drum fills on “They Were Behind the Barbed Wire” are anything but slow, the feel of the song in general is, as the riffs ebb and flow, filled with bends and false harmonics. There’s also a guest guitar solo by Kevin Hufnagel of Gorguts.
The timing signatures on “We Built These Walls Ourselves” is rather jazzy to say the least, but it works well to get a good bass rhythm going while the guitars are almost doing their own thing as everything slows down but increases the heaviness.
By the time you get to “Sunset”, you feel all the speed has left the album, but it’s more because of the heaviness of the song and its need to build until the halfway point before actually kicking into gear and having the blasting return.
To be fair, after each listen you hear more and more of the subtle musicianship taking place and “Face of War” is no different as the lethargic guitars are played with plenty of squeals and off riff runs under the blasting drums and low drawl of death vocals.
They finish the album with “Throne” and its quick riff changes and slap in your face snare as the short song is full of punch rather than just trying to labour its point.
As stated, there are plenty of interesting elements to each of the songs and the more you listen, the more you hear, so it’s worth giving the album a couple of spins before dismissing it as generic death fodder.
(7/10 Marco Gaminara)