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Endless Return by Murder Made God - 65%

PETERG, March 13th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2019, Digital, Unique Leader Records

Murder Made God is a really extreme death metal band from Greece; a country that, sadly, has a small scene when it comes to death metal. This particular group was formed from the ashes of the decent brutal death metal assemble Human Rejection. Stelios and Dennis -who played bass and guitar respectively in Human Rejection- decided to continue their musical venture in the world of technical death metal with this project.

This is their latest release and I got to say it got me by a surprise that they had not disbanded, for the last time I checked them was way back in their debut in 2013. But how does this record stand up against their discography and overall? Well it is not anything groundbreaking or marvelously composed but it is an honest and honorable attempt.

Technicality and fast paced songs are the key strengths of the group. Put very high up on the mix the percussion is flat out amazing and, dare I say, the highlight of most of the tracks. Tolis, the drummer, puts emphasis on tremolo hit double bass and blast beats that are performed with exceptional technique. What got me by surprise is his, thankfully, lack of generic fills that most percussionists use as mere transitions to the next rhythmic section of each song. He progresses really smoothly from one drumming onslaught to another without any need for dumbed down patterns. Not only that but he manages to create a lot of dynamics and atmosphere often by resulting in more straightforward playing following the bass and the guitars.

Now that I mentioned the guitars, for some the most challenging aspect of tech death, I am really perplexed about the guitarist's playing. One one hand the riffs are not bad. The artist uses a lot of variations and most of the ideas have a sense of originality. Some thrashy parts of the album are cleverly composed and have a spontaneous feel. Occasionally though he resorts to some bland and boring deathcore influenced breakdowns that ruin a lot of the tracks. Not only that but the dissonant harmony of the chords that is used in those sections is, honestly, cliché. What also drags the whole effort down, as far as guitar playing goes, is the production and mixing of the six string instrument. Tuned very low they have this muddy sound that, mixed up with the bass, creates an awkward sound.

The deathcore aesthetic is really prevalent in the aspect of the vocals. Do not get me wrong, the singer's performance is stellar. His voice is mixed well and he can be heard with ease throughout the album. Sadly his growls and shouting really do not resemble that of a death metal vocalist. While the band is kicking the living hell out of their instruments, with immerse intensity, his shouting seems like an uncanny valley.

Having said it all I praise Murder Made God for their passion to continue producing death metal in a country with a really small scene. This album is a nice addition to their discography and, having heard their older releases, I can say for sure that they have evolved. The only thing that holds this album from being something different is the constant clinging to the "-core" side of metal. Should the band get rid of those influences their true potential will be unveiled.