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Announced as “the debut album of the German death metal hope”, we’ll have to worry about a country’s whole genre scene if that shall be their hope.
Of course, the four-piece plays its instruments without any major mistakes, but this is nothing particular and seems to be the only thing they can manage. It lacks of variety and inspiration all the way. You can listen to one song quite easily, but the whole album becomes nearly a torture, despite the short playing time. You get the same blast beat-focused drumming, the same uninspired riffing, and the same tempo song after song. Do you like solos, catchy melodies, some groove parts or ideas that make music interesting? Well, this album offers none of that all. There are some more than predictable breaks, but that’s it. Oh, and the intro of “...And the Entrails Fill the Sea” tries to add a little bit of atmosphere, but the attempt is useless thanks to the cheap sample and the very poor sound.
The sound...what a topic. The production would fit well on a demo recording, but isn’t appropriate for a full-length of a band with a record label supporting them, especially for a band that is hyped to be the “German death metal hope”. The drums sound really messed up and you hear it best from the start as the intro sample fades and the drums enter, but it can be noticed throughout the album. The guitar dominates the mix, though it sounds not as powerful as it should. There's more noise than a real death metal guitar sound. Bass exists only in the booklet credits. Furthermore, it is neither audible or even to guess. And over it all hangs a kind of fuzziness. It’s very hard if not impossible to hear one instrument clear.
It is hard to say if the vocals suffer from the mix or the vocalist sucks, but I would say it is both. First, the vocals are far too week in the mix, but they’re also performed without any dedication or expression. The growling is not a real death metal growling and the high-pitched sections are simply annoying and in some parts the vocals sound rather than deathcore more than death metal.
In the conclusion, this album suffers from really one dimensional songwriting and the poor sound. To remember one song from it will be really hard because they’re all too similar to each other.
I will give this album 5 out of 100 only because it does not feature any beat downs or such stuff. Some freaks for modern stuff may have their fun with it for a week or so until it gets too boring, but real metalheads should keep their hands off.
Germany's death metal scene has been nearly as explosive as its black metal scene in recent years, with a steady mix of 'come of age' veterans and new artists releasing decent albums. This is the first full-length from September Murder, an energetic display of fist in the face death metal, busy without overwhelming technicality and often melodic without escaping entirely into the melodeath genre.
Agony in Flesh crushes across eight tracks of grooving, winding death charged up on a thrash battery. "...and the Entrails Fill the Sea" opens with a moody, slower riff which paints a desolate image of this band's urban wasteland of gutter stomping death. "Slavery of Heartdisruption" has some slightly Swedish influence to its agonizing rhythm picking. "Breathing Cadaver" begins right where the previous track leaves off, though with a battering drum rhythm and flustery, thrashing guitar line. "After Every Setting Sun" rages with some roiling war drums under a few brutal sludging chords, before another up-tempo melodic death/thrash interplay for the verse. "Between Grass and Guilt" is one of my choice tracks on the album, a good mix of the band's choppy riff delivery and brutal tone. "To Satisfy the Eyes of an Obsessed" has a great flow through its opening segments, and "Again, It Crossed My Way" is simply brutal. The album ends with the title track, another balanced attack with a good melodic verse riff.
There is a chunky and dark, dominating tone to this album which really summons out its strengths. Urban and intense, this is the type of death metal which screams at you of domestic abuse from an apartment building in the projects. It's social as opposed to just being centered on guts and gore. Frankly, we need more death metal like this, and September Murder sacrifices nothing in terms of brutality to deliver its message. A good start for this band!
Agony In Flesh is September Murder's debut album and many people considered them "the next big thing in German Death Metal". Therefore I was expecting great things from this CD. All 4 guys are in the beginning of 20 so at first I thought this could be some hype shitty Death Metal like Germany's Hackneyed or something else. But after checking the background and reading some older reviews I felt my expectations improve and bought this CD.
The record starts with "...And The Entrails Fill The Sea", a slowed down beginning of an album which will later unleash pure violence. Doomy riffs and slow drums are interluding 2 and a half minute of instrumental power to clear the way for the vocals and starting a rage. In my opinion this is one of the best openings since METALLICA's "Blackened". After that "Slavery Of Heartdisruption" riding on fast AT THE GATES riffing in the verses to SUFFOCATION grooves in the middle parts and back again. 'Breathing Cadaver' is up next and I simply fell in love with this song the second I heard it. This is one of my favorite tracks because it storms out with an incredible main riff. One of the shortest songs but also one of the best. Outstanding from start to finish this song will leave you begging for more! The title track deserves to be mentioned too. Agony In Flesh presents a great acquisition because the song comprise all qualities of the whole album and blows out a masterpiece ending riff.
What I adore the most in the music by September Murder is the perfect mix of technical passages combined with old school riffing. September Murder owns a mangy old school atmosphere like early Grave or Dismember but can't be classified as just an old school Death Metal band. Modern influences like Grind and Brutal Death are abounded too, so "Modern old school Death Metal" would be a good description for this young band. Summarised I would say you need to mix their dynamic lyrics with some really skillful guitar work, a heavy working bass, raging drums and an absolutly talented vocalist to get a picture of September Murder.
The sound production deserves some words too. Let me tell you first that it sounds great! It's an absolutly blast, extreme powerful and no weakening. But the thing I want to talk about is the roughness. Nowadays it's typical to use such high-class-perfect-productions like all this technical fanatics in the vein of THE FACELESS or TRIGGER THE BLOODSHED. September Murder don't need that! The production is rough but also clear and the outcome of this is the brutality which September Murder needs. The bass is fully audible, which is great because you can notice the work in it's full way. Every instruments volume is perfect and the whole album creates a dark and acherontic atmosphere in a space of sound which no other band owns in the moment.
Agony In Flesh is easily one of the best Death Metal albums of 2009 and definitely worth the buy and maybe also on the way to become an underground classic!
- ...And The Entrails Fill The Sea
- Breathing Cadaver
- To Satisfy The Eyes Of An Obessed
- Agony In Flesh