death metal underground
Review: From the wasted landscapes of Los Angeles comes this fusion of Slayer style metal with death metal, heavy metal and hard rock garnishes, which despite its unassuming aesthetic carries a weight in the rhythmic cohesion of songs which drive hard and cycle through their conflicts before ripping to a finale of explosive declaration. Its power is not the distinctiveness of its shape but how well the contour supports its structure over the course of permutation. Constant insistent motion flares across broad lines of battle drums scrambling for closure, and guitar noise in solo and harmonic notes reverberates through the abrupt but deliberate clatterblast of drums.
Smoothly held together by sensible changes and repeated motifs, these songs pair sets of complementary riffs with a series of transitional bridges to make circular but open-ended and often expanding songs. Melodies are short supporting meshes of notes used to establish harmonic shape, and augmentation in the form of guitar accents often descends from the progressive heavy metal vein of the genre. The essential quality of all riffing on this album however is its demanding and centering motion which with lawless, homeless phrases creates a vacuum of motion except the sustenance of cyclic tonal motion. Conceptually the band seem content with speed metal-influenced themes such as chaos, warfare, natural disasters and blasphemy.
Power chords and alertly expressive lead guitar stream morbid rushing death metal rhythm riffing and spidery dissolutions of note clusters in melodic lead playing. Vocals are hoarse in the Napalm Death style yet are delivered with the cadence of a speed metal band as emphasis on the dominant rhythm in tight, self-balancing phrases. Where a larger musical vision intrudes, it is limited to the innovations of early death metal, forcing this band to work within a scrolling constant of riff change with little more than rhythm and shape to guide further composition. Their response is thunderous and motivational in its streamlined feral extroversion.
Where there is no blatant avantgarde or progressive instinct here, this release upholds the strengths of death metal to which people adhere over time, namely the construction of rhythm and coherent songs with some emotionality to the variation of their composition. Immanent values in the motion of this music render questions moot as the combat machine moves forward.