(Pulverised Records, 2013)
#FOR FANS OF: Brutal Death, Incantation, early Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse
Among the plethora of death metal releases in the early '90s, at the time when the genre was still new-ground ready to be explored and seemingly everyone went at it with a copy of ‘Altars of Madness’ and a book on Lovecraft, few managed to survive this early pillaging of this genre and are now resigned to the thought of “If only they could’ve followed it up…” much like Sweden’s Wombbath. Dripping with that primordial flavor that landed so many albums in the classic status in terms of tight, vicious guitars that effectively alternate between dense, thrash-based patterns that were found all over the US at the same time or some evocative, more spacious riffs that feel almost doom-like in execution with the emphasis on power over the speed yet mixed in that glorious production job that fills the whole album with a sense of doom and primal evil as if the darkness over the next bend contains a myriad of creatures awaiting for your soul. It’s surprising how evocative this music for this time period as this makes for a stellar album had it been done by seasoned professionals, but as a debut it’s far more powerful than expected with nuances that veterans would make and shows they’ve learned this lesson incredibly well and might even surpass the teachers at select points. Opener "Prevent Anemia" sets off the appropriate tone with a series of fantastic rapid-fire riffs that show a strong ear for deep, guttural rhythms, primal rawness and a vicious streak that would be suitably echoed in further stand-outs "Intestinal Bleeding," "Conceal Interior Torments" and "Several Shapes". "As Silent As the Grave" offers the chance for some stout technicality to creep into the material with more dynamic riff changes and tempo variations than expected, while "Corporal Punishment" starts off a select few tracks like "Performed in Depth" and "Beyond the Gloomy" which contains more of a doom influence with those sprawling riffs and slower paces. A few tracks may be hit or miss with some repeating patterns or a lame riff thrown into the mix, but generally this is among the top-tier mark of the generation of death metal that never found a break and is thankfully available again in a fine re-issue for those that miss the good old days. Mark up a few extra points of the score if you consider the package as well as the song quality for purchasing as you get their entire discography in a demo and EP as well as the full-length which are basically rawer, simpler forms of songs already on this CD (and several in fact are re-recorded on the album anyway) and more for connoisseurs than anything else.