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Grindcore tussles with death metal for supremacy - 80%

robotiq, July 12th, 2020

"Crown Waits the Immortal" is a fine little EP. The jump from the Purtenance Avulsion demo to this within six months is astounding. That demo was indistinct death metal mush, further invalidated by a terrible production. This EP is almost the opposite; an athletic death/grind hybrid with beautiful grainy, juicy distortion. I love the production here. The drumming is hefty, the bass is dirty, and the vocals have a slight echo for extra demonic effect. This is the sort of bass-heavy sound that old grindcore bands like Terrorizer or Napalm Death ("Mentally Murdered"-era) used. This kind of production works well with old death metal too.

There is only nine minutes of music, but it is all enjoyable. The instrumental intro "Apparition of the Mist" begins with a riff from the Slayer handbook, then speeds into double kick before switching to the sort of riff you hear on a record like "World Downfall". One of my favourite things about this EP is the numerous speed changes, particularly the quick bursts of acceleration into the blast-beat sections. The two songs following the intro are closer to death metal but the grindcore influence is obvious. Both songs were later re-recorded for the debut album, but sound much better here. This version of "A Dark Cloud Rises" sounds righteous, the riffs and drums agitate each other for abrasive effect. The title track is a more complex and subtle song but no less violent. There is a passage at the one-minute mark which reminds me of "Harmony Corruption". This is simple but effective stuff.

On this EP, Purtenance showed a knack for throwing the listener off balance. This gives the effect of constant motion. The main reason for this is Harri Salo's unconventional and varied drumming style. He seems to be one of the driving forces in the band. The riffing plays into his style. The guitars sound percussive, seemingly following the drums wherever they go. There are similarities with the first Immolation album although Purtenance were considerably less subtle. There are no real solos which lends everything a sense of urgency and rawness. Bassist Toni Honkala sounds brutal, almost like a meat-grinder. The band’s subsequent album would see him switch from bass to lead guitar. This meant sacrificing some of the brute force that is evident here.

The "Crown Waits the Immortal" EP gets Purtenance onto the shortlist of bands whose pre-album stuff is better than their album material (along with the likes of Gorefest, Unleashed and Disgrace). This EP is nimble, efficient stuff which keeps a feeling of ambient evil. There is something reassuring about what Purtenance have done here, and I'm glad someone had the idea of stitching dizzying death metal with simple punk-ish grindcore. Recommended.

Raw death metal done right - 82%

MorbidAtheist666, December 30th, 2011

This is a rough, raw and dirty record. It is a really brilliant record! This is a heavy duty record that features a great guitar tone. It's a mixture of doom metal and death metal. It's predominantly death metal, though. If you're into death metal records with raw production, you're in for a real treat. You will not be disappointed by this.

This record starts off with an instrumental called Apparition of the Mist. It's under a minute and 30 seconds. It starts off with one guitar playing and the riff is pretty evil sounding. The guitars sound pretty damn muddy and raw. I believe there is distortion coming out of the bass amplifier. It sounds really mean. This song sounds slow at first, but they pick up the pace. When they pick up the pace, there's some really great blast beats that are executed really well. I think I heard a few pinch harmonics from one of the guitars. If they were, they weren't really executed that well.

A Dark Cloud Arises starts off with a really killer riff and impressive drumming. That kick drum is really cool. This song has definitely has it's doom metal moments mixed with mid-paced moments and fast moments. I really like that one part where everything stops and you can hear only one guitar for a few seconds. That same bass distortion can be heard here and it sounds pretty damn good. There's vocals in this song and they sound really good. He's a pretty good guttural vocalist. That bass sounds really good with those vocals, it fits really well. I really like the vocal effect that starts around the 2:06 mark. It's some kind of echo effect. This song has some great blast beats and the cymbals are put to good use.

Crown Waits the Immortal sounds a bit slow at first and you can hear that heavy bass distortion. The guitar work is pretty solid, but not really amazing. The vocals sound pretty good in this song as well. I'm totally digging the blast beats that begin around the 1:30 mark. It is the blast beats towards the end that I like the most, I'm totally impressed by them.

This is pretty much an enjoyable slab of early 90's death metal. They intended to sound raw and heavy. The bass distortion is the highlight of this record and I think more bands should use bass distortion. The musicianship isn't really outstanding, but they improve a year after this record. Most death metal bands that start out sound a bit pedestrian and underdeveloped.