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Cytotoxin - Plutonium heaven - 90%

Phuling, April 19th, 2011

A short while ago I received an e-mail from Cytotoxin asking me if I was interested in reviewing their brand new album. So I clicked their link and gave one of their songs a listen, and about halfway in I was already in awe. “This is the shit”, I thought to myself, and later on replied that I’d be bloody excited to review their album, seeing as it seemed to be right up my alley. A few days later it dropped into my mailbox. Gitty as a child on Christmas I ripped the shrink wrap open, started flipping through the booklet and gave the CD a spin…

I can tell you it’s been a while since I fell so head-over-heels in love with a new band this quickly. This young act, formed in 2010, has managed to release one hell of a debut, and I can’t for the life of me understand why they don’t have a label behind it. Brutal death metal with a flair for the technical side of the matter, without losing sight of the chunky goodness that is slam. Plutonium heaven is only 27 minutes long, and it’s a concept album about the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster. The concept shines through not only in the lyrical department, but also a few select samples, like for instance that of a crackling Geiger counter in a couple of tracks. It adds such a magnificently spooky feeling, and they actually manage to create an atmosphere, which is damn unusual for the genre.

But, the rest of the album’s pretty straight-forward death metal. I’m quite certain they’ve taken on influences from both their European heritage as well of that of the States. I occasionally get to think of Abysmal Torment, and for a short while Devourment comes to mind. Suddenly my mind goes to Brodequin as the blasting is at an all-time high, whereas the technicality gets me thinking of Incinerate and the gurgling gore of Prostitute Disfigurement. But no matter what bands one might find a few similarities to, there’s no doubt in my mind Cytotoxin’s also given the older school of death metal a fair share of air-time, as some of the riffing definitely carries a Floridian feel to them (just listen to Solemnities of May).

The tempo changes are vast, and one second might be blasting like crazy, the next goes for a short and semi-melodic slowdown, only to speed up once again and abruptly turne into a down and dirty slam session. The drumming’s truly impressive, and the technicality is all that I could’ve asked for, just as the sudden outburst of a technical guitar solo gets my adrenaline pumping. But they don’t overdo it, they keep the technicality at a sane level, so as to not get too bloody in-your-face. Vocally it’s gurgling, grunting, growling, squealing and anything else you could possibly ask for. Production-wise it’s perfect, letting all instruments shine through. This is without a doubt one this year’s best releases. Impressive and mind-blowing! And it just goes to show that you don’t need made-up stories about gruesome murders, torture and rape to get the gory feel of brutal death metal; you can just retell a bit of mankind’s history.

Originally written for My Last Chapter