EMBRIONAL - Cusp of Evil (Self financed demo 2006)
When I recently got the newly released debut full length album from one of my favourite Polish death metal brigades, Embrional, I thought it’s about time to let myself remind what the early recordings of this band were like. And I must admit that I was very enthusiastic about them ever since I got their first demo CDR back in 2006, when “Cusp of Evil” was released. I even reviewed it, originally for both my Panzerfaust zine (issue 5) and The Nocturnal Battle of Chariots webzine (http://nbc.art.pl/recenzje.php?id=1312). I liked Embrional’s music so much that I even interviewed them (and I guess I can say that I was one of the first ones, who supported the band with an interview; the Polish version of this chat is here: http://nbc.art.pl/wywiady.php?id=193). So, you could really see how much I liked the band ever since its beginnings. But somehow I didn’t have a chance to comeback to “Cusp of Evil” since the time of its release, I just have been too busy with many other albums and demos, so I gave it few listens this week, wondering whether I’ll like it as much as I did six years ago. And luckily, I still like the demo a lot!
I’m not going to compare “Cusp of Evil” to the future releases of Embrional, there’s no point in doing so, but I can say that if you’re into classic old styled death metal, then this demo is for you definitely. Embrional crushes with their brutal style, which takes the equal measures of Dutch, Polish and American styles and combines them into one monstrous sound, which fulfils “Cusp of Evil” from start till its end. I am quite impressed how the band – which was relatively young at the time of recording of this demo and “Cusp of Evil” was their studio debut – not only managed to produce this recording (and I can say I really like the sound on it), but also what the songs are like. I remember that some people were moaning that the songs are too lengthy and even the band said at that time that they might have done them too long, but I like the way these six tracks are composed and putted together. Definitely there is no sign of boredom in these songs and the fact that they are even seven minutes long does not make them exhausting at all. Especially that Embrional does everything they can to make sure that the songs are possibly more varied and deliver not just a constant, monotonous blast beats, but also puts many slower parts, guitar leads and other shit.
I guess my favourite track is the first one, “The Tempter”. While listening to it, at the first seconds, I was really surprised, thinking “Wow, this sounds really a lot like Sinister on their early albums!!!”. And a minute later, with some other riffs it was like “And now they’re like Vital Remains!!!!!!!!”. Yeah, great. The guitar sound, if you listen to the first riff, is really similar to what Sinister sounded like on “Diabolical Summoning” LP! But also many riffs sound like this great Dutch band, like in “Carnage Ceremony”. Add to all those some hints of neckbreaking Immolation sort of riffing, some Deicide influences and in the end you can be sure that “Cusp of Evil” is relentless, brutal and merciless effort in pure death metal style, when only intros, which appear between every track, will give you a chance to take a breath before another riffing attack will take place. Yeah, I can say I definitely like this demo a lot and I guess the only thing, which I don’t like on it is its original cover, with a demonic clown, maybe based on Stephen King’s “It”, maybe not, but I don’t like it. But that’s the cover of first edition of the demo. The second edition was released by Old Temple Records with a different layout. Whichever pressing you find, get it anyway as this demo is truly worth having in collections. In my old review I said “this is the best Polish debut of 2006!” and it truly was.
Final rate: 77/100