This band from Germany has been around in one form or another since the 90s. Besides having a reputation as an under-rated act, they actively tour and record. They are considered technical/brutal death metal. I would probably count them as old school death metal. Several releases are available, and it feels somewhat unfair to look at just one release and judge, but lets try.
This album starts with a cross fade between eerie chanting reminiscent of Tomb of the Blind Dead scariness, and some strangely somewhat gallant flowing brutality. This intro is a very dramatic and effective start to the album, really galvanizing as a listener. Its more unique intro-wise than I am able to describe. The drummer has a neat sounding snare drum. Piccolo snare perhaps? Am loving the heavy gain scooped Fleshcrawl guitar tones and low vocals. Mix-wise this reminds one of Tomb of the Mutilated or Butchered at Birth. On Into the Soil, I am impressed with the tightness of the band, and the organic sounding qualities. There is some interesting snare work by the drummer.
Track 3 , Consuming Grief sounds a bit more non-descript, not as inspired. The following track, Generosity of the Deceased, is super heavy and aggressive and pulverizes. It delivers a Sinister Diabolical Summoning style heavy groove. It is a most excellent tune, probably my favorite so far. Soon we will Cross the Styx! At 1:26 there is brief bass barf and then insane Billy Sheeheen bass tapping insanity.
Track 5 is blatant The Bleeding styled. I am having a flashback to playing pool when the Bleeding first came out, like 3 years ago, and I heard it on my friend’s boombox. At around 1:44 there is a really great chunky groovy riff sequence. Really awesome old school American blast beat at the end of the song gives my hands vicarious blisters.
I love how I can hear the bass a lot on this album. It makes some of the riffs that aren’t as good sound more organic and fun. There’s a strong brutality factor at 1:30 of The Bell. This is the kind of song that should be blared from helicopters in place of (Ride of the Valkyries) in the war against North Korea. There’s some heavy Brujeria styled groovy drums too. But the cymbal work gets a little carried away. Nice instrumental passages towards the end of the tune. And the bass continues to keep it interesting.
The Mesmerizing Light is a unique offering. It is like Cynic/Focus crossed with Bill and Teds and Slayer. What the hell? I like it. Be sure to check this one out. The old school metal vocals are especially neat. This song adds diversity to the album.
At One with Wrath is reminding me of a personal favorite album, Individual Thought Patterns, by Death. It has nice textures weaved by the guitars, which shine on the later tracks here. The polyphony picks up a bit on this track and the previous track. There is a weird Mr. Bungle California styled riff or two smack in the middle. Its another interesting track.
Quest for Non Existence also reminds me of Individual Thought Patterns, and I think its great. I really agree with this band’s influences a lot. There are a few tweaky sounding parts here and there, which help keep it from sounding totally 90s Finland/Florida. I like the lush clean part at 2:05, played in a very nice key. Excellent guitar and bass runs and a tense riff follow. Do these guys listen to Zappa or something? This is becoming Cynic Cannibal Zappa Corpse at this point in the album. This song will save you $ from having to buy drugs. I even like the mild guitar masturbation.
Return to Samsara. So if I remember right from college Samsara is the wheel of life we return to when we die (in Hinduism), where we get re-incarnated in various forms. This album itself evolves from a Fleshcrawl/Sinsiter/Cannibal Schmorgusboard album at the start , towards a Zappa/Cynic/Nocturnus/Mr. Bunngle California finish.
Dali once said that,”The first man to compare the cheeks of a young woman to a rose was obviously a poet; the first to repeat it was possibly an idiot.” (Salvador Dali) This album does not fall into the emulation trap. This band deftly gallops around that empty ravine, with its black cape draped over the shoulder, scythe in hand. This band must be commend on doing a totally non-bogus job of combining classic 90s death metal influences in a way that is tasteful and fun. No great album is ever created out of thin air, without combining influences.
Originality is way overrated. To make, you need to take. All great artists do. (Darby Bannard)