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Disturbing debut of avant-garde death and thrash - 80%

autothrall, October 31st, 2009

This album came as quite a surprise to me, a disturbing debut of avant-garde death and thrash featuring members of black metal maniacs Dark Fortress. The vocal diversity of 'Bruce' is wild here, the range is from Voivod's Snake to harsh death grunts to the occasional high scream typical in 80s thrash/speed metal.

It's really quite haunting in the way Voivod used to be on albums like Dimension Hatross. Certain tracks like "The Digital Diaspora" have a lot of similarities to those Canadian gods, without being a ripoff. Dark, brooding tones and chords dominate the riffing. On the surface it may not seem so deep, but it's the type of album that makes me nervous. I'm talking about the grooving thrash/doom of "Coming in Tongues" or the dense dark ambient track "Xenoglassy". The doomy but playful "Void Bitch". The ambience gone raging thrash of "Time Raper", or the later Morbid Angel feel to "Murder of Worlds" infused with those freaky, jangling discordant guitars.

It all adds up to one of the more unique and memorable metal debuts this year. There isn't a lot to compare it with except a darker more brutal Voivod. This is honestly better than the latest output from their alter ego Dark Fortress, so I hope they will continue to work on this, because I am fascinated to hear more. Easily one of the most frightening and challenging metal albums of the year.