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A gem of modern death metal - 95%

BlackMetal213, May 6th, 2012

I will start this with a little background on my experience with this band.... I was in a local record store called Plan 9 in Richmond, Virginia, and I was looking through the "METAL" section. I was rather disappointed, actually, because I generally find like 3 or 4 albums at a time, and I buy them. Well, I couldn't find anything worth it, besides a copy of Dark Funeral's "Attera Totus Sanctus," which I already have... So it would be pointless to buy another copy. I was just about to give up, when I find something promising: Lago's "Marianas" EP. I had never heard of this band before, and the cover art and logo looked interesting enough, so I bought it. Honestly, I thought it would be a black metal release, due to the somewhat black metalish logo, and Old English of the EP's title, and the track listings on the back. So I bought it and went home, and put it in my stereo. Well, fucking hell... My fucking neck hurts from headbanging too hard. Lago is a death metal outfit from Phoenix, Arizona. They are very new, formed in 2010, about two years ago. This EP, entitled "Marianas," was released the same year of their inception, and it is the only release they currently have available. And oh shit, is it amazing...

So basically, what we have here is modern black metal heavily, and I mean HEAVILY influenced by the classic bands of death metal, such as Morbid Angel, Suffocation, Autopsy, etc. This EP even thanks 90's death metal in its "Lago would like to thank" section on the back of the booklet. The band also thanks weed, but why wouldn't they? Weed is awesome. That set aside, let's indulge into the music again... The tremolo picked riffs, which sound black metal influenced, are here, and they are especially good on the title track (which is also the first track). The drums on here are furious, but not too furious. They are pounding, and, when the bass on the stereo is turned up, they shake the entire fucking room. Very bass heavy record in general, but of course, it is death metal after all. The music could be described as slower, less chaotic death metal, somewhat like Autopsy's "Mental Funeral," but not quite that doom sounding. It is influenced, at least to me, by Morbid Angel's "Blessed Are The Sick" with its slower tracks, but still consistently fast riffs. These riffs are not overly technical, however, and they do not sound like the guitarist is simply wanking off his guitar. They are basically your standard edgy death metal vocals, nothing too special, but very fun and very fucking heavy. And that is what it is all about: the sheer brutality.

Vocalwise, this album has some variety. You've got Cole's traditional raspy-as-fuck vocals, and then, you have additional vocals preformed by Garrett. His style of vocals, is, however, very much different. These vocals sound much more akin to black metal, specifically depressive/suicidal black metal. He uses high-pitched, painful screams, which are included to send chills down the listener's spine while he/she is already hurting from headbanging too hard. This helps to add a better flavor to the already savory music.

This is recommended indeed, for fans of death metal. It's got it all: fast tremolo riffs accompanied by slower, melancholic riffs, pounding bass, blast beats, all the good shit.