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I recently discovered this group, that is nothing else than the pre-Tiamat band. At the time they were more a black metal band than death but we must say that obviously we cannot consider this black metal as Marduk one for example. This is a blackened form of extreme metal that back in the 80s were influenced by groups like early Darkthrone, Celtic Frost or Hellhammer with always an eye to the classical thrash.
Anyway the main riff on the title track is very black oriented with blackened scream vocals. The doomish passages are followed by thrash mid tempos in an atmosphere of pure black mass. The riff on “Earwigs On Your Vein” is pure Black Sabbath with a different approach. Also the production is clear and the guitars not distorted at all, but they are something kinda metallic and doomish. The up tempos are really primordial.
Great the down tempos in “Hail To Cruelty” followed by evil, fast ones. It’s something fun the guitar riffage for the immature but sincere attitude and skill. Anyway pretty good stuff here that must be seen through the eyes of the young members and the year of creation. The final “Cadaverous Odour” is a bit different and shows a more brutal attack and black riffs that sometimes reminded me early Sarcofago.
Primordial but very good and I like these things!!
Now, this was a surprise! I didn't really know what to expect from Treblinka, since all I knew is that they now play a much more melodic style as Tiamat, but this demo really impressed me!
First and foremost, this is your not typical Black Metal demo, in many ways. The band's playing is not that fast, and although the tremolo picking is there most of the time, there are no blastbeats: rather, the drumming is often based on a double-tempo feel with the snare on the beat, which provides a solid backbone to the music. I also have noticed the absence of double bass drumming; it might be because the drums aren't given that high volume but still it would have been perceivable it if were really there... oh well.
Another interesting fact about "Crawling In Vomits" is the sound, which is a lot more clear than most demos of that time (this was released around 1988). It has a good amount of low end, allowing the bass to be heard rather clearly, and the vocals, although given an audible reverb, don't echo all over the place, and as I said, the drums don't overpower the rest. The guitars have also a nice tone, far from the notorious buzzing, treble-saturated static that plagues most underground recordings; rather, the overall sound of the tape comes across as a bit lifeless and flat, but you won't be experiencing headaches to grasp what's going on. Which is a very good thing, because there is interesting stuff going on here.
The demo opens with the title track, "Crawling in Vomits"... as cheesy as it gets, no doubt about it, but the riffs that came out of my speakers quickly silenced such uncertainties in my mind. Treblinka's songs on this demo have a pretty standard structure, which this song introduces us as it developes: it starts with a rather slow intro (backed by cool bass licks), but the pace soon pick ups and we clearly recognize a verse-chorus-verse-chorus pattern. As hinted above, the riffs are interesting and memorable, although a bit more variety would be welcomed as most of the time the guitar(s) (there could be two but you can't really tell) and the bass just play the very sae notes altogether. In the middle of the song we find a Thrash-styled break (think about the "Pumped with fluid, inside your brain" part in Slayer's "Angel of Death", although obviously less frantic) with some nice drum tricks going on, before getting back to the verse-chorus sequence for one last time and back to the intro riff which finishes the song. This is pretty much what we can expect from the rest of the songs on here, but each one of them has enough personality to be recognized.
For example, the following track, the first version of "Earwings in Your Veins", has a very peculiar opening ("Blackened NWOBHM"?) with nice guitar lines going on; it then goes off once again in the pounding verse-chorus fast part: the chorus here has an interesting structure, with an unusual rhythm and tonality structure that sets it apart from the other songs. The Thrash break in the middle is one of the best of the demo - yes it might be a bit juvenile, but who cares as long as it's cool? The song then goes back into the verse and one lat chorus, before finishing on the intro riff once more.
"Hail to Cruely" has a very slow and almost Doomish beginning, but soon proves the most frantic number riff-wise; it seems that the band members are forced to build riffs on the moment just to keep up with the rhythm (which, as I said, is not that fast, but this is the feeling you get). The middle break in the song almost sounds lifted from "Endless Pain"-era Kreator, and there's also a couple of solos thrown in, probably to enhance the Slayer-like impression, but both fall short due to a not so competent performance. The song finishes in a different way that the others, meaning that we don't get the intro riff again at the end... after the last verse-chorus spin which follows the middle section, we get another brief Trhashy break (different from the previous one) and the song closes with one last chorus. Good job.
The final track, "Cadaverous Odour" (no, I won't comment the titles anymore), begins right away with a Thrashy mid-tempo, which of course soon becomes another fast verse followed by another fast chorus and back again... the middle section, however, is different from the rest, as the band switches to a ternary tempo; the drumming here gets a bit sloppy at times (think "Carpathian Wolves"-style Graveland), but it's not that bad. There's also another unexpected Thrash break right at the end (after the last verse-chorus round), which is not bad at all. What is bad is that after the song ends you get almost a minute of random puking noises, probably placed there by the band to enhance the feeling of the demo's title... it's kinda scary to think if one of the members was forced to do this just for the demo...
All in all, depsite the somewhat formula-based song structures (which however doesn't stop the individual songs to have their own identity), this is a very solid first effort. Recommended to any Tiamat fans willing to discover what the band's roots are, and to anyone who likes raw but interesting Metal.