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Infernal Poetry > Paraphiliac > Reviews > bayern
Infernal Poetry - Paraphiliac

…or How Marquis de Sade Evaded the Guillotine - 58%

bayern, January 10th, 2022

Italian poets; nothing new, if you think of it… I mean, Dante’s “Inferno” is still fresh in everyone’s mind some 700 years after its hellish inception. A modern new millennium’s update of this immortal classic was mandatory, and it was only fitting the latter to be provided by compatriots of the man, a team of lads who were earlier pondering over H.P. Lovecraft’s Necronomicon for the creation of an isolated 5-spell compilation “Under the Gothic Cathedral”, of all places, in 1996, wrapped in a conventional old school death metal package.

The guys abandoned the black magick shenanigans and the Ancient Ones shortly after, but kept the death metal accompaniment in check for their future poetic endeavours. And not only but they managed to rise in stature almost instantly upon a name change, the debut demo a compelling complex slab of death, a smattering combination of contrived Death melodicisms, vehement sweeps ala the dazzling brutality movement (Cryptospy, Suffocation, etc.), avant-garde Phlebotomized-esque decisions, and some visionary thick riff-architecture not far from the one exercised by the Russians Hieronimus Bosch. Just when one thought that the band peaked on the very first official instalment, half of the material already cooked on the demos before it, came the sophomore “Beholding the Unpure”, a crowning achievement in the art of death, a multi-textured masterpiece which saw the band climbing to the near-top of the movement in their homeland, shaking the throne of the leaders Sadist with gleeful abandon.

The time was the rightest one for such a change of the guards, the Sadists still recovering from the ill-fated experimental, non-deathy excursion “Lego”, and one more album of the same seismicity was going to do the trick. However, the guys followed up with a brief 4-track EP a year later, a frantic marvel of tech-death wizardry which sounded quite surreal and outlandish, with both melodic saturations and spastic mathcore equations embedded into a more simplistic main frame. Spell-binding all over once again, the formula immaculately extended on the third outing, this opus wasn’t quite the projected leader tumbler, another reason for the diverted decapitation being the Sadists’ grand return to form that was the self-titled from two years prior.

That’s alright, there’s always the next time, and four years after their nervous system failed, the guys are back, this time having to fight with their unnatural voracious sexual desires. A most ungrateful task that last one I tell you, and busy with this more urgent agenda the band forget about their leadership ambitions. Well, at least this is what I prefer to think listening to this… cause you can’t expect to dethrone an established Sadistic authority with a seriously modernized setting and simplified abrasive deathcore dynamics. Yep, the delivery has been altered, not quite beyond recognition as the moments of twisted bizarreness that were so indigenous to the preceding recording can still be stumped… sorry, sniffed (“Stumped”) timidly here and there. The stifling of those is very high on the guys’ list, though, as the listener is easily made to forget such stylish intrusions, wading through generic quasi-doomy sprawls (“In Glorious Orgy”), banal groovy jump-arounds (“Everything Means 'I'”), and isolated spasms of belated semi-technical brutality (“Barf Together”). The insistence on the heavy doomy formula produces a more positive result (the alluring epicer “Cartilages”) eventually, and the band’s adherence to it in the second half somewhat saves them from messing it even further, the dramatic melodic strokes on the title-track a surprisingly effective closure.

Nope, Sadist were unnecessarily agitated earlier, this change of course not sounding the fanfares for victory, seeing the band delineating themselves further away from their fascinating roots, producing a not very convincing modern mechanized quasi-progressive metal recording with groove, post-death, deathcore, and doom mixed in a disheveled, not very carefully calculated manner, the final result still listenable to some extent. A blend of the kind could have hit the jackpot some 15 years earlier, when the numetal trends were looking for more dynamic marriages with other styles to stay afloat and exit the 90’s with dignity… but for an established outfit, and a great one at that, to look for shelter in such outdated tunes is plain embarrassing, not to mention seriously undermining the participants’ skills. Neither sexual nor musical gratification has been achieved here, the band bidding farewell to the music scene with a careful sterile whisper, with a barely acknowledged mechanized echo; the total opposite to the projected resounding bang with which they were supposedly going to reach the top.

A possible reason for those modern contaminants could have been the spell some of the band members had with the stalwarts Dark Lunacy, the melo-death quartet whose last (at the time) effort “Weaver of Forgotten” was woven of very similar mechanical dystopian sentimentality. What do you know, lunatics have never been a very good example to follow… their ways leading to an inglorious closure of an otherwise fairly enchanting poetic string.