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A look at The Cleansing's roster reads like a who's who of Danish death metal history, as the band features current and former members of Corpus Mortale, Exmortem, and Panzerchrist, among others. For the most part, The Cleansing is the update to the band Usipian, whose 2005 debut Dead Corner of the Eye generated some buzz a few years back. Four of the members have forged ahead with this new project, a hybrid of roots brutal death metal and a slightly more technical edge (though never showy or bewildering). The band reminds me of a mix of their Danish counterparts Panzerchrist or Exmortem with a healthy dose of Morbid Angel and Hate Eternal.
This is a band whose forte is its ability to create very punctual death metal rhythm with razor like efficiency. Tracks like "Insects in the Void" and "The Prodigal Son" weave choppy, progressive death metal riffing with a suitable amount of discord to create a frantic, neurotic womb of misdirection and calamity. They also get adventurous with tracks like "The Domino of Phantom Effects" with its dark ambient/acoustic intro, or the grating, grinding "Architectural Infinity" with its great, almost industrial vibe to the riffing during some sections, meshed with some sinister death metal. The band's experience and professionalism translate well into their musical aptitude, though restrained, they are capable of fluttering into a manic lead on a simple whim.
The mix of the Poisoned Legacy is punchy and well adapted to saddle the blunt hammer vocals of Toke Eld, and the material sounds like it would crush in the live environment, breaking a great many human bones in the dance pit. I'll admit that I didn't love this album...there were few tracks or even riffs which I wanted to revisit after a single listen. But a few spins of the album in its entirety are assuring enough that fans of semi-technical modern death metal would appreciate the effort, the grooves and the interesting leadwork. A competent debut.
Review originally published at http://www.teethofthedivine.com by Erik Thomas
Not content with Dawn of Demise and their super chunky, hefty style of death metal Deepsend has delved into the Danish death metal barrel once again, and pulled out another killer, similarly styled act in The Cleansing.
Formed from the ashes of Usipian featuring cross band members of Panzerchrist and Corpus Mortale (notably Martin Rosendahl also of Iniquity and Exmortem fame), the bloodlines and experience of The Cleansing are unquestionable, and it shows on their volatile debut album - a perfect mix of typically chunky Danish brutality and modern polished, death metal savagery.
Armed with the all too familiar Danish tone and deep bellows purveyed by the band members current and former acts, Poisoned Legacy rumbles with the fierce intimidation of a battle tank mowing down infantry in high gear, spitting out a ridiculous number of down tuned hefty grooves as well as ample amounts of blast beats that never veer into uber tech or blasts fests. The tempered restraint of Poisoned Legacy is never lost on too much of either as the band delivers plenty of tracks that mix volatile blasts and satisfying groove and as heard on killer tracks like “Flesh Recycled”, “Ghost Lights” “Harnessed by the Shadows”, “Deliverance”, token huge, slow churner “The Domino of Phantom Effects” and closer “Awoken at Gunpoint”.
Admittedly, it’s hardly groundbreaking stuff, but with the experience of the line up, it drips with a menacing confidence and chemistry that only such a line up could produce - akin to the Hail of Bullets collaboration. Not that this is a great as ..Of Frost and War, but it feels the same and imbues that same kind of perfect balance only attained by veteran members knowing exactly how they want to sound and delivering it effortlessly.
A must have for fans of Usipian, Corpus Mortale and recent label mates Dawn of Demise as well as Lay Down Rotten and Moker, The Cleansing look to be another fine addition to the underrated Danish death metal scene.