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Organic Infest - Penitence
Review: Relying on a circularity of riffs that use one major dramatic element -- abrupt pauses, textural shifts, vivid modulation -- per song, Organic Infest create death metal in its intermediate form, resembling a cross between the second Malevolent Creation album and the early work from Sentenced (Shadows of the Past) and Entombed. Intensely rhythmic, combined around the leading pace of vocals, and unafraid to end chanted phrases that sound like hikers ascending a difficult cliff at maximum pace with flourishes or plucked harmonics, it combines the gruff cadence addiction of American bands with the atmosphere of mystery European acts of the time favored.
It is not unfair to compare these vocals to those of Cannibal Corpse or Suffocation in that they are compressed gutturals which ply the offbeat by building rigid patterns and offsetting them with an open-throated invocation. Accented by studied drumming that simultaneously blasts out the dominant pattern and shadows the aggressive rant of vocals and subtler coloring of guitar, these songs present vocals first and relegate guitar to a following role. However, its palette is rich and studied: the tremolo strum of classic era Pestilence, lead melodic breaks that would do Therion proud, a fusion of speed metal impact strumming with the classic Floridian open-chorded jagged descent over broad intervals toward chromatic distances between inception and conclusion.
While the intersection of styles toward a mean is, on a scatter diagram, the broadest capture of different acts, "life is most successfully viewed from a single window" (Fitzgerald) and in this Organic Infest find a contentment of style that allows them to project a world: archly contrived in its appeal to the contravening ideas of history and religion and that rarest of human conditions, notice of mortality, it creates an atmosphere both mystical and literal. In this subtlety it is unique in this style of blasting death metal and deserves a second listen, albeit with graphic equalizer so guitars are finally audible.