ECTOVOID - Fractured in the Timeless Abyss (HELLTHRASHER - CD 2012)
Well, well, I must admit that I’m more and more impressed by the work, which Hellthrasher Productions does. Only a year ago this Polish label has been slowly starting, releasing few better or worse CDs, but I’ve been watching their activity ever since then and nowadays I must say that they’re doing just awesome job! In many ways I think I can compare them to Agonia Records as both labels release a good quantity of albums, but always keep the certain quality to them, which is something not so common and usual in most of the especially bigger labels. The only difference between Hellthrasher and Agonia is that Agonia releases the albums of already well known and established bands, while Hellthrasher focused on the beginners, bands which only just been starting their underground metal crusade. And that’s of course way more difficult, to find bands, which are good enough that it’s worth investing your time and money into them and promote their album.
Ectovoid is an example for such band, which has been discovered by Hellthrasher in the depths of the underground. This Alabama, USA, based band has just been formed back in 2010 and released only one demo, “Breathing Blackness” in 2011 after which they must have been noticed by Hellthrasher, who immediately offered them a contract. Well, I don’t know that demo yet (I’m waiting for it now, as the band was so kind that they’ve sent me a copy of it!), but I can assure you that what I hear on the album is something way more impressive that I ever expected it to be. Yeah, let’s put all my cards with aces on the table – “Fractured in the Timeless Abyss” is just an amazing album and I wouldn’t waste my time writing this, if it wasn’t the truth. Damn, I think that from all the releases, which Hellthrasher has putted out so far this CD belongs to my favourites, at least together with Intestinal’s “The Rottening”, Escarnium’s “Rex Vomitorium” and Decaying’s “Encirclement”. But even among all those albums, “Fractured in the Timeless Abyss” could be my favourite piece!
So, what does Ectovoid serve us on this slab of plastic? Well, they’re from USA, so there’s only one true and correct answer – brutal death metal! Yeah, but that doesn’t say much, so if I add such monikers as Immolation, Incantation plus Morbid Angel, Autopsy and maybe a bit of the old Finnish death metal bands like Demigod, Convulse and Purtenance, then I hope your imagination of the cadaverous work of Ectovoid will be closer to the truth. “Fractured in the Timeless Abyss” is 666% old styled piece of classic death metal in the vein of the mentioned bands, and despite the fact that this isn’t anything new, I still hail this band for this album as the quality of their material is just supreme and better than most of other old school bands (and sometimes even better than the originals!). The main strength of Ectovoid’s music lays within the atmosphere, which these three guys have created with their music and within the riffs, which are just killer and are composed into ultimately brilliant songs. This music is very thick, dense with dark, sinister type of melodies and riffs, with great arrangements, which balance between the ghastly doomy parts and mid paced, brutal death metal. Every song on “Fractured in the Timeless Abyss” brings the slaughter and instant genocide, riffs are crushing like the 10 tons heavy wall of sound, the drums are a real death beats and the vocals are some of the most ghoulish and guttural you can imagine. And while listening to this album I just cannot decide which my favourite parts of it are as basically everything on it is top notch and I do not hesitate saying there’s nothing missing and everything is just as it should be. Of course such tracks as “Dark Clouds of Consciousness” with its brilliant, memorable main riff (very much influenced by the cult of Immolation), “Splintered Phantasm”, “Locked in Dismal Gaze” with its dismal, doomy opening theme or “Murmurs From Beyond” are the pieces, which I found as most tremendous and impressive, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the songs are less killer.
The other thins I must mention about “Fractured in the Timeless Abyss” are: the very good production, in which I really like the guitar tone a lot as well as how the vocals are performed and mixed into everything and also the killer front artwork, which looks just superb and quite original at the same time (I also really like Ectovoid’s logo!). And so, when all the elements of the music plus its package are so high rated by me I cannot imagine not buying the vinyl version of “Fractured in the Timeless Abyss”, which I hope Blood Harvest will release soon. And if you’re not into black wax, then you must get the CD from Hellthrasher as this album is an absolutely must have thing for you, if you call yourself a death metal maniac. With all respect, if there wasn’t Disma’s “Towards the Megalith” LP and also albums from Horrendous and Father Befouled, then I would call Ectovoid the biggest US sensation since the formation of late80’s and early 90’s legends and Nile few years later.
Standout tracks: “Dark Clouds of Consciousness”, “Splintered Phantasm”, “Locked in Dismal Gaze”, “Murmurs From Beyond”
Final rate: 90/100