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Immortal Fate > Beautiful > Reviews
Immortal Fate - Beautiful

Ultra-brutal death metal - 82%

robotniq, April 12th, 2023

I don’t tend to bother with the 'brutal' side of death metal. I love "Effigy of the Forgotten" as much as anyone but I rarely, if ever, listen to Internal Bleeding, Deeds of Flesh, Dying Fetus, etc. My antipathy towards this stuff stems from its prioritisation with brutality over atmosphere. Few of these bands impose any sense of terror or unease on the listener. I prefer the ‘European’ style of brutality represented (on both sides of the Atlantic) by Rottrevore, the first Grave album, the Crematory demos, etc. That stuff sounds much heavier, more brutal and atmospheric to my ears.

This brings me to Immortal Fate and their attempt to merge these two styles of death metal brutality. The result might be the ugliest and heaviest death metal I have ever heard; a rancid, streetwise melee that invokes Suffocation and Autopsy in equal measure. None of the band's previous demos hinted that they would make something as good as this. They play much tighter here. The drumming is faster and more varied. The vocalist is deep, consistent and inhuman. The bass feels like a bulldozer. The guitarists have forsaken all solos and any trace of melody. The production is lo-fi sewer-punk garbage.

There is a surprising amount of variation. The band’s ability to move from blasting to d-beats to ultra-slow is as convincing as anyone in the genre. The opener, “Healer”, switches from a sequence of Suffocation-ish riffs into a devastating slow section. "Sliding Panels" follows with some of the heaviest death/doom passages of all time. "Greed" begins like a fast punk track, a reminder of the band’s links with the hardcore scene (i.e., through bands like Plutocracy and No Le$$). "Love Battery" is particularly dark and uncomfortable with its eerie extended vocal sample, sounding like what Autopsy did on "Shitfun" a year or so later. The second half of the record delves into noisier, looser and creepier sounds and structures, but is equally effective.

The lack of any melody or hooks might limit the record's long-term replay value but it does not lessen the impact. I wish the whole ‘brutal death metal’ genre sounded more like this. I wish 'darker' bands like Incantation and Infester sounded like this too. Immortal Fate understood how heaviness could be maximised by cloaking tough-sounding riffs in a thick atmospheric haze. Given that this was recorded way back in 1993, this band might be pioneers of their own ultra-brutal death metal microcosm.