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Magick Spells Done Dead Straight - 84%

bayern, January 13th, 2018

When I came across this band some ten years ago I knew next to nothing about the Estonian metal scene except for the veteran Gunnar Graps (R.I.P.), of course. Later I also got a hold of Rattler, another death metal outfit tied to this one due to a member exchange, and with the arrival of the fresh new force, the interesting thrashers Tankist, the metal world will soon start exploring this small country for other worthy acts.

What we have on the album reviewed here is tight compact technical death metal without too many embellishments, crossing the less bridled blast-beat aesthetics of the Floridian wave (think Morbid Ange, Deicide, above all) with the meticulous precision of early Gorguts and Pestilence. Both sides are represented on almost every track “Satanic Reprisal” having a more controlled feel with more parsimonious fretwork and less explosive, at times plain minimalistic, riffage. “Christian Lies” shreds with more passion, but more frequent stomping stopovers are served the hectic delivery guided by recitals in Latin as opposed to the shouty death metal vocals. “I’m Possessed” is a jarring nervy technicaller with aggressive outbursts aplenty the leads making a grand showing towards the end; and “Mortification of the Flesh” follows the same patterns by also increasing the presence of twisted melodic tunes those taken straight from the Morbid Angel catalogue.

“Evil Gives Birth to Evil” notches up the virtuosity with more labyrinthine riff-formulas and more exuberant technicality also reflected in denser staccato rhythms and more spastic displays of brutality the latter also gracing the short ripping “Blasphemation”, vintage early Deicide with the abrupt twisted time shifts. “Living Among the Dead” is a prime technicaller with a brilliant interplay between the guitar and the bass at the beginning before stylish bouts of brutality come forward intercepted by great vortex-like sweeps; a masterpiece of death metal intricacy followed by the marginally more immediate “Profanity”, an outburst of polished aggression with a few less ordinary Gorguts-esque dashes carving the formidable march.

Hardly a misdeed, this effort here, capably following on the tendency to make the good old death more intriguing, looking up at the high models produced earlier, the guys feeling only too proud to make their influences heard. It was good to hear death metal still standing on a more primal ground compared to the diversification anomalies that started springing up (Cynic, Atheist, Pestilence, Violent Dirge, Pavor) at around the same time, including in the guys’ homeland as their buddies Rattler’s exploits were way more varied and far-reaching. No more “dirty” tricks in the Misdeed camp after that one, though; spells of the kind can work their magic only once.