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"Putrid odours rising, From beneath the ground. They climb up from the tombs with a freezing horrid sound... From beyond the grave"
This one sentence perfectly sums up the atmosphere of "Hecatomb", MLP from the Swedish Repugnant. I must say that the first time I've heard about this band was somewhere in 2003 I think, but I've never expected that their music will be so devastating and in fact will resurrect the old school death metal with such a quality that often it's better than the originals! Yeah, you've read it right - I think that Repugnant is better than many original death metal pioneers. I think that the music of those Swedes is just perfect, their riffs and ideas, the vocals, production... just everything on "Hecatomb" sounds perfect to my ears. Even those damn pseudonyms those guys have picked up sound amazing - Mary Goore on vocals, guitars, Roy Morbidson on bass, Chris Piss on drums and finally Sid E. Burns playing guitar. Isn't that fuckin' cool??!! Mind that no one else, except Repugnant (and also Pentacle), even thought about something like that at this time of late 90's / early 00's, while nowadays there are dozens of bands, which play like that!!
"Hecatomb" was originally released as a 7"EP by To the Death Records in 1999, but I definitely recommend you getting the vinyl 12" press of this EP, released by Hammerheart, because it has better layout and also it includes a bonus track. I expect both vinyls to be very difficult to get nowadays, but don't surrender and once you see it on E-bay or wherever, buy it! I'm lucky to own "Hecatomb" 12"LP and man, it sounds amazing and the whole layout is also brilliant.
Everything starts with a creepy, horror intro, which is followed by "From Beyond the Grave" - this one song is just a death metal masterpiece, so amazing that I could kill for it! The riffing in it is just excellent, very sharp and aggressive, combining the very old school death and thrash metal traditions of bands like Possessed, Mantas / Death, Master, old Sepultura, Nihilist, etc. In fact this song not only will force you into maniacal headbanging, with the fast and relentless playing, but also will make you scream the catchy chorus part - "from beyond the graaaveee!!!!!!". "Morbid Ways" then strikes with something very similar, but maybe even more in the classic Swedish death metal vein, but man... It's another amazing song, with some truly vicious and devastating riffs.
"Rapturous Genocide" is a demo track, re-recorded for this EP and maybe it's not as great as the first two songs, but anyway I wish everyone to compose such "less interesting" (hehe) songs, as still it captures the rotten atmosphere and brutal old school death / thrash metal energy in an excellent way, at some parts speeding up very dangerously, into almost grinding blasts "Genocideeee!"). Finally the whole EP is closed by Celtic Frost's "The Usurper" and trust me, sometimes I wonder which version I like more - Repugnant's or the original?
All in all, this one excellent EP and personally not only it's my favourite Repugnant release, but also one of the best death metal EPs that ever appeared from the burial grounds.
"Day of the human holocaust, in sinners mind, forever lost. Raping the grace, human quiescence. Morbid Ways..."
Best track: "From Beyond the Grave"