Scribe Bloody Gore - Death Metal Report
By: Darren Cowan
So, you’re back again for another sonic gut-fuck! You made it through the holidays without encountering one of the many veils of death found this time of the year. You didn’t choke on a turkey bone or have a massive coronary from Grandma Smith’s gravy. You even managed to elude the numerous black ice patches hidden from view on the road that surely would have led to decapitation, at the least, or smashed into human flour, at the worse. Anyway, the important thing is that you made it back to another installment of Blistering.com’s death metal report—Scribe Bloody Gore, so enough of this morbidity, let’s get into the death metal!
Past readers may recall I like to start the column off with my favorite disc. Choosing the best was not as easy this time, especially when we have three excellent albums of Swedish death metal by Facebreaker, Torture Division and Caliber 666. In the end, Caliber 666’s diversity took the win. Blood Fueled Chaos, put out by the goat-worshipping cult at Ibex Moon Records features melodic moments found in Hypocrisy, chunky mid-tempos in line with Dismember with the speed and nefarious feel of Necrophobic. Blood Fueled Chaos encapsulates Swedish death metal. Matti Karki of Dismember and L.G. Petrov of Entombed even make a guest appearance.
Torture Division’s Evighetens Dårar features one of the figureheads of Swedish death metal, Jörgen Sandström playing bass and growling. Fans of the Stockholm scene know him as the ex-bassist of Entombed and ex-vocalist of Grave. Members of Dark Funeral, The Project Hate and Vomitory complete the lineup. Although Sandström’s voice doesn’t project the guttural eruptions of early Grave, he brings a familiarity to their sound. However, don’t expect to hear a reworking of Into the Grave, along with the Swedish influence is a smattering, or splattering of Florida death style (think Morbid Angel or Malevolent Creation) and even modern metal. “Heretics Now” contains a guitar lick in line with Lamb of God, and there is the occasional (I stress occasional) breakdown. The variety of style breaths an air of fresh breath (death breath) into the band’s compositions. We can only hear Left Hand Path and Like An Ever Flowing Stream so many times before boredom sets in.
Facebreaker may not contain members of Stockholm’s big four—Robert "Robban" Karlsson of Scar Symmetry leads the band—but the group doesn’t hide its affection for Grave. At times, the group’s latest rotten offering, Infected moves with a Soulless/As I Die Here Satisfied swagger. Other moments recall Dismember. Still, there is no mistaking Facebreaker for either of the two bands. Mid-tempo churnings reveal the earth cracking up as hell emits its red rays upon the ground, and the harmonies are the soundtrack to our descent into the chasm. Peter Tägtgren produced the album at his Abyss studios, so the production brings to mind Hypocrisy (especially the bass), as do many of his projects.
We travel back across the pond and into my area for the next album The Sacrament of Unholy Communion by Scattered Remains. The Austin, Texas-based group has been around for a while and contains members from premiere central Texas acts such as Martyred and Disfigured. Having previously released a couple of demos, The Sacrament of Unholy Communion marks the band’s first full length. If one overlooks the mix, which according to members went through too many hands, Sacraments is a solid album of no-frills death metal. Ryan Sylvie produces undecipherable growls that begin so low in his gut that his voice seems surrounded by stomach lining and bile. The group jumps around a lot, moving between stomp patterns and buzz saw rhythms, but tightly follows Rene Martinez’s stealth drumming. Complete with blaspheming lyrics that would make Glen Benton proud, a haunting cover by famed death metal album artist Jon Zig, and an utmost disregard for melody, The Sacrament of Unholy Communion is an album for the truest underground death metal fan.
The technical ability and reptoid conspiracy lyrics of Embryonic Devourment have made quite an impression in the underground. Vivid Impetrations of the Void, only the second album by the California act is a maelstrom of notes and beats. These guys define the term “tech death.” Vivid Impetrations of the Void straddles the line between melody, brutality and mathematical chaos. Try to follow the timing on this record! Following these notes is like following the plot of a recent David Lynch film…it’s bewildering! From the warm upfront bass line of Austin Spence to Luke Boutietta’s maniac fills and the adamantium -sharp shred of guitarists Lauren Pike and Adam Weber, Vivid Impetrations of the Void is perhaps the only DM album with the skill and precision to challenge Atheist’s Jupiter for the “holy shit” award of 2010.