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Trouser Tickling Brutality - 89%

Evokaphile, March 19th, 2017

Brutal death metal is a real love it or hate it genre, generally speaking. Detractors of the style are usually well justified in their arguments against the lack of thoughtful songwriting, void emotional engagement, and monotonous aesthetics that add up to form the rotting underbelly of the death metal world. For people like myself, just mustering up the motivation to further explore a genre that quickly shows little to offer besides face-value neck snapping and nasty pig squeals is a difficult commitment. Of course, as with almost any genre, there are shining examples of artists that can take a generally par-the-course sound to a level of refinement that cements it as an exemplary archetype of exactly how the f*ck it should be done. Analepsy are one such band, and Atrocities From Beyond is one such album.

Instrumentally speaking, Analepsy seem to underplay their abilities on much of this album. Numerous moments of pseudo-virtuosity rear their head in the form of thoughtful songwriting dynamics, unruly drum fills and flourishes of pleasant lead guitar work that break up the monotony of the relentlessly abusive chugging. Tracks like "Engorged Consumption" gradually degenerate and pulverize with increasing weight as the slams drop down to notes so low they barely register on a guitar tuner, all the while keeping enough composure to balance the skull crushing vitriol with waterboard splashes of machinegun blast beats and arpeggiated solos. Guttural spewage and indiscernible squeals emanate atop the sonic violence to an effective, albeit rather unexciting degree, and only really make themselves the focal point on the odd occasion. Make no mistake, the heart of this album is driven by riffs designed into implode the planets of our celestial enemies, and the songwriting is correspondingly and tactfully aware of this. Sure, Analepsy might not be offering you anything you haven't heard before, and indeed, their band name is markedly more exotic than the music itself, but Atrocities From Beyond is anything but lackluster.

Everything here sounds magnificently crisp and clean despite being mind-bendingly heavy. The guitar tone is tight but carries the density of a neutron star within it, punching with a visceral effectiveness that beckons you to headbang harder and harder. The bass is atypical, lurking in the shadowy presence of the guitars, and only really steps out from behind these flesh-churning sawblades during the plummeting slams. Subtle electronic accentuations, like the intro of the wholesome bookend, "Atrocity Deeds", work their way into the genetics of this album without coming across as forced or misplaced. Percussively, Analepsy again hit the production nail on the head with meaty drums that incessantly punch like receiving a good ole fashioned beat down by evil clowns wielding Christmas hams in burlap sacks. Production jobs this good often have the caveat of devouring the crusty, greasy skin that makes death metal so delicious but you won't find lifeless guitars and shamefully triggered kick drums here. Analepsy have exemplified that not all modern archetypical death metal production has to be chalky and flavourless. In fact, one of this album's most striking attributes is just how well mastered and ridiculously massive the bottom end is, and with a good sound system, Atrocities From Beyond becomes almost mind-blowing. This atomically powerful heft only bolsters the album's charming staying power, and the whole affair entices perpetual cranks of the volume knob in your Ford Fiesta without turning your ear drums into swiss cheese by the time the analogue dial hits thirty percent.

While this band's debut full-length is far from the most original undertaking death metal has ever seen, it without a doubt serves as an amazingly satiating slab of destruction for anyone seeking a fresh fix of sonic BDSM. Whatever points could be docked against Analepsy for a lack of outright creativity are surely made up for by the sheer refinement and earnest enthusiasm they display over the course of the half-hour. Atrocities From Beyond may not be the hero the genre desperately needs, but it's the one it deserves, and does what it does considerably better than what the vast majority of the band's peers are doing. Even if you've never so much as probed a single finger up your you-know-what, chances are good that you'll love what Analepsy have in store for you.

(Originally published on http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/72827/Analepsy-Atrocities-from-Beyond)