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Tuesday 29 November 2022

Reviews: Last Ten Seconds Of Life, Desecrate The Faith, Zëlot, Whirlwind (Reviews By Zak Skane, GC, Ben Baljak & Rick Eaglestone)

The Last Ten Seconds Of Life – Disquisition On An Execution (Unique Leader Records) [Zak Skane]

The Pennsylvania bruisers have returned, with not even a year since the release of their self titled album the have band come back to treat us with a four track pulverising E.P. 

With full force the opening Annihilation Phenomena starts up with chilling suspense from the greeted stab or should I sat punch chords on delivered from their baritone strung guitars accompanied with ambient clean guitar parts. The varying kick patterns builds up the intensity to lead us to our first doom-laden verse. Just like all of his previous efforts the vocalist still keeps the bar high by displaying the intensity in every word he spits out. 

With the biblical and philosophical themes in the lyrics and the crushing breakdown the makes a triumphant start to this four track effort. The many sub genres of Dreams Of Extermination swoons opens with some operatic swells before the listener get assaulted with machine gun bursts of gravity blasts and tremolo picked riffs. The groove laden guitar riffs locked in with 8th note kick patterns add some classic Pantera and southern metal vibes whilst adding some old school grindcore elements with their thunderous gravity blasts as well combining some symphonic elements with hardcore beatdowns. 

Liberation puts their hardcore grooves in the centre of the mix whilst the vocalist barks out classic death metal themed lyrics with nu metal flavour whilst tribal percussive sections are thrown in to add some extra spice. Finally Master opens up with some classic death metal aggression with low tuned tremolo riffs accompanied with grinding blast beats before the sombre angelic break provides us remorse before the brutality continues to a faded halt. 

Even though the band have abandoned the full length approach they still know how to capture their intensity in a short period of time. From embracing their classic formula on the opener Annihilation Phenomena threw to the shear brutality of Master, the band have still managed to push the boundaries of their sound by incorporating symphonic elements in Dreams Of Extermination and incorporating Sepultura inspired percussion in Liberation. Another flawless listen, shame that it didn’t last long enough 8/10.

Desecrate The Faith - III (Comatose Music) [GC]

It’s been a while since I did a review, so obviously to break myself back in nice and easily I have chosen some ‘’brutal death metal’’ from Desecrate The Faith and their new album III, so without further ado, hear we fucking go!! You know exactly what you are going to get from this type of music, blast beats, low and filthy vocals, and barbaric guitars and that is exactly what we get.

First track Idle Creature is a bit vocal heavy and sometimes they drown out the music which is frustrating as obviously the vocals have zero budge room and never change so you kind of just loose the first song, Blood Scriptures on the other hand balances everything out nicely and you can hear the savagery behind the vocals its all very well done and y’know ‘’brutal’’ but is it enough to keep the interest for a full album? Not so sure? Its more of the same on Wretched Feast which could probably pass as a decent Cannibal Corpse tribute if you didn’t know better. 

Then Sadistic Euphoria erupts into forth and is probably the most insistent track so far and the guitar work really shines through and credit where its due, this drummer is a fucking beast, there is absolutely no let up from him and he deserves all the credit in the world for keeping this relentless pace, just wish there was some wriggle room in the vocal area as its all just so one paced and holds some of the music back from really impressing at the half way point and Slaughtered Clergy slows the pace down slightly and has a nice chug filled riff that powers the song along before it all explodes into similar territory again and continues the relentless barrage, which is all starting to get a bit samey now if I am honest but there is a nice slow almost sludgy mid-section that drops into an blackened death part which finally shines a bit of much needed variation and contrast into the whole picture!!

Butchered Earth has another slow and stalking riff to being with that then goes into and big chug filled delight of a track before once again entering the savage territory we have heard so much already but it manages to mix up the styles so its not just all the same all the time and halfway through drop in a great section the is full of violence and groove in equal measure, this is easily the best song on the album so far and you even get to hear that they have a bass player for a bit! 

Mutilation is another song of monstrous proportions that comes along at an almost grindcore like pace and ups the brutallity to a new level and stops this album all being one pace and dare I say it a bit boring so far, the last 2 track have been sorely needed! Then we get Vile Of Legion, which is straight back to where we were before, and it feels like it’s been forced rather than enjoyed, like we mixed it up a bit now you must pay for that by getting the same style of song as before! The Dead Testament & Omnes Ardeat both offer up solid and predictable brutality but by this point I have had enough of it all and I am kind of glad it’s all over

With III, Desecrate The Faith have tried their best to go above and beyond and out ‘’brutal’’ everyone else, in a way they have done a good job as the music is unrelenting and as heavy a concrete rhino BUT, it just sounds exactly like most albums in the brutal death metal genre. I mean it’s all there, the savagery and violence with a fuck the world attitude, and it’s delivered with disgusting intent but its all just too predictable and samey and is hardly likely to give the foundations of death metal a shake. 6/10

Zëlot - Supplices (Chien Noir) [Ben Baljak]

Paris-based black metal duo Zëlot release their 4-track debut EP Supplices. A project born from a shared passion for the 90s black metal scene, crafting their own blend of melancholy, hatred and cold melodies. Liquid Abyss kicks off the album with the razor sharp scream of a Parisian taking it from a horned beast  in a cold harsh woodland, as his friend captures the mutilated howl on an old battered tape recorder with dodgy electrics. Which is exactly the tone one looks for in the old school black metal sound. With Louis Lambert’s vocals as raw as the grundle of my simile. We’re off to a strong start. 

The lush sorrowful malevolent tremolo picked lyricism of the guitars perfectly hold down that darkened atmospheric feel while the drums do the relentless black metal drum thing. From the mid way point the track opens up with a more hopeful yet somehow equally depressive feel, which is complimented effortlessly as Sylvain Masure mixes up the pace of the percussion. Chrysalide - A hauntingly beautiful acoustic beginning, satisfyingly shattered when the nightmare creature bursts free from its eldritch chrysalis. Powerful and tartarean with plaintive slow sections that serve the impact of its distorted drops. 

Splintered Souls starts off like a twisted take on hardcore punk, swapping into a head rattling half time feel, returning back to speed and continues to evolve. A malefic motif spreads dissonance over a clean euphony, these are a few of my favourite things. The song culminates with manic speed and a sudden stop waging whiplash on its listener. Skogen Ende opens with a more doomy 28 Days Later vibe developing into a speedy blackened punky beat that reeks of loss and desperation. The use of a lead note, a semitone out from the key and diminished chords are my ear candy. A dramatic end to the EP. Louis Lambert and Sylvain Masure have accomplished great things with Zëlot - Supplices

The sound quality may be a little shite, but isn’t that a hallmark of the genre? It’s a pleasant change from the over polished robotic quality of a lot of modern metal albums. The songs are dark, atmospheric and a perfect accompaniment to getting lost in the woods until you reek enough to need Abbath … … where does one take Abbath ? In a Bathory …. … But it’s not the time for shit metal puns, it’s time to rate this beast. 8/10

Whirlwind - 1714 (Fighter Records) [Rick Eaglestone]

Originally meant a parallel project to Korgull The Exterminator, Whirlwind took their 80’s heavy metal fire to unveil debut album 1714. Title track 1714 serves as a brief introduction to the galloping start of The Call which shows off just how well vocalist Hector Llaurado fits this style and if you need any further evidence, I present to you my highlight track Under Siege which has undertones of Judas Priest. 

The lightning speed of Rebels Arise! spills into the riff central Torture, Knife, & Fire which also has nice chugging bass parts which is well paired with the solo laden Gallows Tithe. As the album continues with nods to the past, tracks such as Cannons Of Infuriation & The Bastard Duke (Which is a nonstop foot tapper btw) & Immortal Heroes really leans into the aesthetic of the subject matter. 

Although this has been mostly fast paced at this point it is Red September that gets the accolade of fastest, heaviest track of the album, this is complimented with the thundering drums challenger for that crown for sheer complexity with final track Echoes Of Time. Riff delivery on an anthemic scale. 7/10

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