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Death Worship - Extermination Mass - 70%

BirthOfDisease, May 22nd, 2020
Written based on this version: 2016, Digital, Nuclear War Now! Productions (Bandcamp)

At first glance, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Death Worship are a continuation of Conqueror. Same members and same core sound, it does seem that way at first glance. But that's not the case here. Ryan Forster and J. Read have gone on to bigger things since the ending of Conqueror back in '99 - Forster to Blasphemy as their second axeman, and J. Read went on to begin his current titan, Revenge - and as such, they've tacitly decided not to ape the masterpiece that was War.Cult.Supremacy, not to their detriment but not to their benefit either; instead opting to take a... generic sound, if that's the best descriptor? Probably not, as that implies I think of this EP negatively, which I absolutely don't. Maybe a more apt one would be generalised, palatable to any fan of bestial black metal.

Coming out of the gate with Abomination Storm, the full release is a solid block of music, no real downsides or weak points. Excellent drumming from Read, with his typical ferocity on the kit being the highlight of the musical backing, in my opinion, going very nicely with Forster's guitars/bass/vocals. Coming as a very nice surprise was Black Winds, Forster's bandmate in Blasphemy, providing backing vocals spattered throughout the album. As a Blasphemy fangirl I appreciated this quite a bit, and the tracks he was on only benefitted from his being on them, leaving me kind of wishing he was the vocalist instead of Forster. But then it'd basically be Blasphemy with Revenge's drummer, instead of its own entity.

I must say overall though, the EP isn't perfect. Far from it. With the members being in other bands that command their focus, they can't put 100% into their stuff, and it shows. While none of the songs are bad, they do sound very samey at parts, blending into one and not necessarily in a good way. Not a whole lot stands out and largely sounds like garden-variety war metal. I don't hold it against them by any means, and it's competent throughout, but it's still a shame, as I love their previous work.

The production is adequate, perfectly fitting for their style; somewhat muddy but not too much, bottom-heavy, vocals distorted a good amount - maybe even double-tracked? who knows! - and cavernous drums. Not too much to say, aside from it gets the job done.

As I've mentioned, the EP isn't bad by any stretch. I feel in fact that it's a good sign of things to come, and indeed I did enjoy the sequel release, 2019's Plague Mass, a good amount more. It does feel a little samey at parts, though it may be due to being early days, not having worked together extensively since Conqueror and such. Hopefully, with Revenge having released Strike.Smother.Dehumanize at the time of writing, Forster and Read can get into a few Zoom meetings and record the next Death Worship effort. I'll wait with baited breath!

Highlights: Desolation Summoning, The Chaos Trance