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The visage of sewage, but the smell is much better - 82%

BloodIronBeer, December 17th, 2018
Written based on this version: 2018, CD, Unique Leader Records

I've fallen deep into a formula of being very objective and matter-of-fact at the top of my reviews. I like to describe the music as objectively as possible before I start giving my opinion, but I need to change it up to spare my sanity.

I want to start with the things that simply standout the most when first taking a look at this band. Firstly, the band's name absolutely sucks. No one can look at that and say with confidence how to pronounce that. Not memorable, not cool, presumably not meaningful – and I must have misspelled it half a dozen times trying to get back to their page. The next thing is the album cover and name. Bad, and generic, in that order. On top of everything else, there is an eye-roll inducing, totally unfunny video for Subservient. Considering all this, I'm really not sure why I was compelled to check this band out.

Well, despite all the “No Trespassing” signs warning me not to bother, I did check them out. And I might as well get the one last negative out of the way, and that's tracks 4 and 5. Sea of Sand is this spooky, animal-howl-ladden “Egyptian” sounding interlude track that is just so awkwardly placed in the track order, and so unforgivably cheesy. The track it leads into carries the tired Egyptian theme with all the “meh” Phrygian Dominant riffs and lyrics about ancient evil, which is all stuff I never need to hear again.

Now, having said all that negative stuff - this album really kicks ass regardless. It's like if Obscura was actually heavy. The vocals are true old school death growls, deep but comprehensible. The drums have a lot of pop and the overall sound has that rigidity that most modern death metal has but without the sickly cleanliness in the production. The Stench of Farooq is a good example of the Obscura comparison, starting out with these bar chords and a groovy beat, kicking into blastbeat overdrive later on - but it just feels like it has more meat on it's bones than the more famous counterpart. The riffs here have a lot of European flair, not just from the German Obscura, but definitely a French flavor a la Kronos and Gorod (Dig, 9_2_5, and To Exist), and Polish flavor like Decapitated (Contort and Control). Of course, this is not to forget the ever-present Suffocation influence in Subservient and Possession Obsession. And as an aside – I never realized just how influential Suffocation truly was until I made my 50th fuckin' reference to how a technical death metal band has taken influence from them. So, hails to Suffocation for being legends.

This album is just heavy as fuck, has some damn fine riffs, and smart use of metric modulation. The songs do an excellent job of pouring on the brutality, and just before it gets monotonous, move to a different riff or switch up the rhythm. This is like having perfect comedic timing – which is ironic consider how ass that music video was. Or who knows, maybe they were unironically smooshing hot dogs for a music video. But I digress.

Dig might be the best track on here, with fantastic drum playing punctuating every critical portion of the guitarwork, and it's alternating between driving, oppressive beats and deep grooves. Although I could be convinced the best song is the 8th, 9th or 10th track, as well. So, suffice it to say, the album is backloaded. And I really prefer that to a frontloaded album that I end up turning off halfway through; backloaded gives you something to look forward to.

Great songwriting, killer drumming, awesome riffs. Everything feels like it has a purpose in the songs, and was structured with care. There's an understanding of when to hit the throttle and when to make a deviation. Hopefully they can change their name and get it right next time, because I'd love to be able to tell people about them.