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Doomsday > Cultures > Reviews
Doomsday - Cultures

Culture That Dissipated the Thickening Clouds - 91%

bayern, February 10th, 2018

Doomsday comes in various shapes and colours… in this case it comes disguised as very expertly executed modern technical death/thrashism which is more controlled and not as speed-prone as the material covered on the guys’ demos, all of them stylish, but rough-around-the edges retro thrash/death metal affairs with a muddy sound quality.

Nothing of the kind on this no-brainer here which also moves towards more modern at times ways of expression although the classic death/thrash hybrid is retained all over, smacked in the face of the listener with the 3-min of highly-stylized Atheist-esque fury that is the title-track, an impressive shred-fest with surreal spacey additives breaking the stride of the speedy crescendos that provide the backbone of this roller-coaster. “Your Will” is a fabulous combination of exuberant technical wizardry and jumpy nervy modernisms both sides co-existing very well together, the slightly laughable death metal-ish vocals echoing around unobtrusively, their duty cancelled by some of the finest melodic leads of the 90’s, and by a lengthy ambient interlude. “Defiled” “defiles” everything served until that point, all in a good way mind you, with sterile mechanical riffs and surreal surges of technicality of the creepy variety, an alluring captivating soundscape that never speeds up even for a split second.

“Stalkers” is a bouncy mechanizer in the vein of Coroner’s “Grin” with ravishing melodic lead-driven passages which occupy more than half the space here, and “The Beginning” acquires more playful dimensions with less intricate riffage, abandoning the serious robotic tone of the other material. The latter is finely captured by “Repent”, a masterpiece of amorphous shape-shifting technical thrash that will easily bedazzle Atheist and Coroner, with a constant tempo shift going on including a couple of neck-spraining skirmishes. The leads hit the top on the extraordinary short virtuoso instrumental “Ant's Quartet Tales”, the guy acquitting himself no worse than Joe Satriani and Jason Becker before everyone starts “wallowing in distress” on “Wallow in Distress”, a minimalistic weird quasi-groover the band creating seeping jazzy atmosphere also with the help of a few genuine jazz-influenced moments. Eccentricity on full-throttle near the end, the final “Aimless Paths” not straying too much from the chosen unorthodox path which is built around bumpy, mid-paced at best rhythms and twisted melodic excursions those coming delightfully Oriental-decorated, the actual highlight being the superb faster-paced pirouettes at the end, ensuring an impressive hyper-active finale.

A most evocative example of heightened Spanish music culture, I swear I detected a few hints at flamenco among all that jazz as well, this opus pulls you in with its multifarious, unpredictable nature and the somewhat contrasting stylistic juxtapositions that amazingly make sense the whole time. The more frivolous laid-back nuances can be subject to mild criticism as the originality kind of wears thin when they’re applied a second time towards the end, but on the other hand they score high in terms of thinking-outside-the-box, breaking the boundaries of conventionalism even more, siding with other visionary artists from the same roster like the French Oddmongers and the Americans Aftermath. What is even more worth of respect is the elusive line between old school and modern ways of execution as the border between the two is never drawn very firmly, both approaches interplaying each other the whole time, making it hard for the fans to place this recording within any rigid frames.

In the end even the whole death/thrash tag may sound irrelevant as there’s more provided for the listener who would feel free at some stage to interpret these very intriguing soundscapes according to his/her own perceptions. That’s why one can’t view these free-stylers in the same vein as other Spanish technical/progressive thrash/death metal purveyors like Transcedental and Canker who were operating around the same time, but managed to release a bigger number of albums. Doomsday was indeed looming heavily over the metal field in the mid-90’s, but this intelligent cultural, also very nicely bewildering, effort did a fair bit to ward off the danger.