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It’s been seven long years since the last full length release of Mexican death metal horde Drowned in Blood, but the band returned last year with their sophomore album, Deathbringer. With an album art that bears a striking resemblance to such Danish bands as The Cleansing and Corpus Mortale, it leaves me wondering if Drowned in Blood can provide me with an experience as intense as the aforementioned have with their recent releases.
Fortunately, the band more than manages to do so on Deathbringer. Album opener Makers of Ravage gives a nice cinematic intro to the listener, but as soon as the first notes hit the listener, one knows that he’s in for one hell of a blasting ride. The first thing that one notices is how speed is of the essence over here, as drummer Khaos lives up to his moniker, punishing his kit relentlessly, not unlike his Danish counterparts in Corpus Mortale or the Polish style of death metal in Azarath or Infernal War, leaving one to wonder where he gets all his energy from, as he barely slows down at all from the start right till the end of the album.
The intensity in the album is also upped by the furious riffing of Vampirif and Nifelheim, who on top of the usual brutal death metal-style chugging at times provide a slightly blackened touch as well. The technical and complex playing that the axe-wielding duo engages in at times, along with the vocal styling of Nifelheim even brings about some slight Dying Fetus and Suffocation comparisons, if only more urgent and intense with the battery of Khaos that lasts the entirety of the album. The leads on the album are probably some of the more sane aspects of Deathbringer, with some sense of melody that is injected amidst the wanton chaos.
While the speed of drummer Khaos on Deathbringer might be the highlight for speed maniacs, this is also unfortunately the potential downfall of the album. The speed and energy that Khaos displays throughout the entire album may be extremely impressive, the non-stop blasting leaves one feeling rather numb after a while, leaving one wondering if there were any point of the album and the band other than to show off the pushing of human limits on the drums. This is especially so with the extremely high mix of the drums compared to the rest of the instruments. And honestly, the tone of the snare bugged the hell out of me as well as the album progressed.
Ultimately though, the talent that the band has displayed on Deathbringer is extremely impressive, and despite the mind-numbing blasting that Drowned in Blood tends to indulge in, Deathbringer is still an extremely enjoyable album, even if it’s just for a nice moshing and headbanging session.