Saturday, 25 August 2012

Masachist - Scorned

It really took Masachist long time to get new album out. “Death March Fury” was out in 2009, so three years is quite long. But it’s better late, than never, as they say. I don’t know what were reasons for such break between the two releases, but in the meantime Masachist has changed the label – leaving Witching Hour for Selfmadegod – what is quite weird decision for me, as I thought that Witching Hour did a good job, when promoting “Death March Fury”, even releasing it twice (the second edition has some bonus tracks included) and also putting out the vinyl. Maybe I’ll have a chance to ask about that the band, if I decide to interview them. Anyway, I was really waiting for this new album, still feeling pain in my ribs, which Masachist left me with, when beaten me to blood with the sounds from the previous album.
I must say that in the beginning, when I started to listen to “Scorned” I was quite torn between the shock and the utter disappointment. Sorry to say that, but the opening track, “Drilling the Nerves”, is not something I really expected from Masachist. First of all, tempo wise this is like the slowest of all songs from this band, which I have heard so far and while the previous album also had a slower track, “Appearance of the Worm”, it really had some great riffing, while “Drilling the Nerves” actually annoys me a lot. The riffing in it is rubbish; the rhythm is almost like the deathcore, which I don’t like at all and really everything else in this song is just terribly mediocre, even the appearance of the keyboards in the background of one of the fragments doesn’t help this song to be more interesting. In the end I can say that the title of this opener is perfect – it really drilled my nerves he! Skipping that core’ish song, the following track is something what I would expect from Masachist. “The Process of Elimination” is fast and brutal, as it should really be, in the good Suffocation style, so it’s definitely better than the nerve drilling fucked up beginning of “Scorned”. But I still cannot say that “The Process of Elimination” impressed me more than the material from the previous album. Yeah, it is decent (I must say that I really like the guitar lead in the end), but nothing more than that. As overall I again must say that this song is rather mediocre and nothing when compared to the previous CD, but I keep on listening to the “Scorned”, waiting for something of better quality.
“Straight and Narrow Path” is yet again slower… Hmm, that’s something what I not necessarily expected from Masachist – to get so much slower stuff – but it isn’t something, what I would dislike, if only the quality was there. Of the songs, which I just mentioned, “Straight and Narrow Path” is definitely the best one so far, it is really good, but I must say it also surprises with some more untypical parts… Really, Masachist has developed their style, into more challenging one and away from the so typical death metal slaughter. And it does take some listens, before you may get used to “Straight and Narrow Path”. In case such more experimental parts won’t be your thing, then “Manifesto (100% D.M.K.M.)” – which is a manifest for pure death metal – and K.M. stands for Polish KURWA MAĆ – will be something you desire, as it is pure death metal slaughter, played with such a fast tempo that the walls started to crack. Hell yeah, this song is something what could have been on “Death March Fury”. Check out the highly impressive guitar leading part in it, but I really like this track as a whole, with its relentless intensity and furious aggression. “Higher Authority” makes me believe that finally Masachist came back on the right track – to the style they’re best at – plus they also brought back the quality (what would mean that the two worse songs from “Scorned” are the two, which open the album hehe!). Anyway, it is fuckin excellent song and the few, which follow it, are equally great, each bursting with aggression and violence! This is Masachist, which I wanted. From time to time the band will put something more unusual, “Liberation part II” being its most obvious example, but luckily that doesn’t spoil the listening anymore. And “Inner Void” is something what I exceptionally liked. This song is yet again one of those slower ones, it is even slightly groovy and melodic at few parts, but I really like the riffing in it. To be honest, at few moments I felt like it is something similar to the anthem called “God of Emptiness”, only not so epic, but more aggressive. Or even “Hatework”… But I really like this song a lot, it definitely is the best piece of “Scorned”!!!!!!. The riffing in it (like this part, with the keyboards) is fantastic, the whole is just damn heavy as hell… and well, I just let myself scream “innnnerrrr voiddddd” and enjoy this piece.
OK, it’s time to resume everything. In the beginning, when I started to listen to “Scorned” it felt like the album will be a huge disappointment. I still think of the first couple of songs as the worst stuff, which Thrufel has written, but luckily rest of the “Scorned” is way better and at few times it is close to the death metal perfection. The performance of Masachist members is very good, plus the production is also as heavy and energetic as such music demands. And “Inner Void” really turned out to be one of the best death metal tracks, which I have listened to. But I must admit that I liked “Death March Fury” more, the debut was so intense and brutal and so well composed that it probably was just too difficult to make something even better. And “Scorned” is not a better album, but luckily it also has its fine moments, which save it from being a total disaster. If only Masachist made the beginning better, then I would probably give the album something like 80 out of 100, but as it is I give it 70, but it probably should be even 65. Ah, luckily I am in pretty good humour today, so feel my mercy.
Standout tracks: “Manifesto (100% D.M.K.M.)”, “Inner Void”, “Higher Authority”, Straight and Narrow Path”
Final rate: 70/100

Masachist - Death March Fury

MASACHIST - Death March Fury (WITCHING HOUR - CD 2009)
You could have had some reservations, before checking out Masachist, thinking that it will be yet another project of people, who’re involved in some more known bands and who suddenly felt so bored that they formed a side project to get some easy cash. But I hope your doubts have been all crushed by the great music of Masachist as well as by the fact that it became a normal band, not a weekend project of talented musicians. All in all, Thrufel has left Azarath and now all his energy and riffs are sacrificed for Masachist. And Daray may be sometimes busy playing gigs with Dimmu Borgir or some other bands, which he is involved, but I guess Masachist is not a type of band, which needs to play ten tours per year, so it is not a problem. Just to make your knowledge complete, in case you don’t know, Masachist line up consists of also Sauron, who used to be a growler in Decapitated plus guys, who’re in bands like Vesania and Shadows Land. “Death March Fury” is the first album from Masachist, released in 2009 and I must say that if you’re into Polish and US death metal – or modern, fast, slightly technical death metal at all – then this album will make your heart pound more intensely and blood splash all over the place, when your guts and other internal organs will be all ripped out.
The title is excellent, but maybe this album should be called “Death Metal Fury”, as this is exactly what this music brings - a relentless dose of aggression and brutality; fury and devastation; pure, musical massacre. Right from the first sound Masachist delivers an intensity, which will really cause the bloodshed and which we all love in this sort of music. The playing is tight as hell, often it is fast like there was some sort of death race going on, but luckily Masachist doesn’t bore with only one way of playing and diverse the music as much as it is possible in this kind of death metal… Many slower parts will break your necks and some technical, more complex structures and riffs will make the whole even more lethal. The songwriting is really great here. I can definitely say that the riffs are just brilliant and all arrangements and performances from each of band members are truly top notch. And it doesn’t matter if we listen to such a variety of songs like the slower, more groovy “Appearance of the Worm” or those totally fast neckbreakers like “Unveil the Grave”, “Open the Wounds” and “Crush Them!!!!!!”. The quality of this material never fails and I must say that I am truly impressed with the drumming of Daray, as well as by the guitarist’s work. I also like Sauron’s vocals, which are close to the classic Floridian death metal growls of Brett Hoffmann and Frank Mullen. Great! And all this is squeezed in barely 25 minutes of music, so you can imagine how intense the time, which you’ll spend on this album, is (but the re-release version of “Death March Fury” has two bonus tracks, mind that!).
Style wise I can definitely say that Masachist offers everything, what is best in this so called modern death metal, when it’s played with passion and at the same time it is still audible, without too complex and too unreadable structures. If I’ll make the comparisons to the likes of Trauma, Malevolent Creation, Decapitated, Immolation, recent Suffocation albums and some Brazilian devastators like Rebaelliun and Krisiun, then I guess you should have a clear vision of “Death March Fury”… And if you call yourself a fan of any of these bands, then I must sincerely recommend you Masachist. You won’t feel disappointed, trust me!
Standout tracks: “Appearance of the Worm”, “Unveil the Grave”, “Crush Them!!!!!!”
Final rate: 85/100

Father Befouled - Revulsion of Seraphic Grace

FATHER BEFOULED - Revulsion of Seraphic Grace (DARK DESCENT - LP 2012)
“…Reverence of inhumanity… Irreverent disgust of holiness, towering cenotaph of demoncy. Pall of black divinity…”
The previous album of Father Befouled, “Morbid Destitution of Covenant”, was truly an exceptional offering of darkness and abhorrence towards the divine, all dressed in some of the most massive and heavy sounds that the death metal scene has spawned ever since “Onwards to Golgotha” was released. So you must understand that I just had to have great expectations for “Revulsion of Seraphic Grace”, which is already a third full length album from this exceptional, Chicago based band. And I dare to say that Father Befouled did not disappoint and yet again delivered a stunning dose of their obscure music. The vinyl looks truly impressive, I must say, the cover artwork is just as blasphemous as it can only get and there’s really nothing more to desire there (the LP includes a huge poster with the album’s cover).
To describe the sound of “Revulsion of Seraphic Grace” I guess I would just need to use pretty much the same words, which I have already used when I was reviewing “Morbid Destitution of Covenant”. Both albums are really similar and “Revulsion…” definitely continues the style, which Father Befouled has been developing on their previous recordings. To some point that may even sound like they’re repeating themselves, as basically the difference between both albums is very slim, if there is one at all. But I guess sometimes there’s no need to change the winning formula, if you know that everything works well and the maniacs appreciate your music. In case of Father Befouled I definitely wouldn’t wish them to change too drastically, so if “Revulsion…” sounds almost exactly like “Morbid Destitution…”, then it’s fine, as both albums are great and these mammoth riffs, which Father Befouled plays, are always killer.
What I always liked most about the music of Father Befouled is the atmosphere, which they create. I really mean that, but when you listen to it, then you just think of such words as utter darkness, abhorrence, profanation, it almost feels like participating in some kind of ritual of desecration, as the music really has “religious” feeling, but in the sacrilegious meaning of this term. Well, just read the lyrics and such lines as “a mockery of heavenly communion…”, “inveigle and suffocate the holiest words…”... The heaviness of this music is overwhelming. While listening to it, you just feel like the sounds were slowly crushing you and I can compare it to being in a room, whose walls are slowly and slowly coming together, making less and less space for you, so you know that finally they’ll squeeze you and you’ll die in terrible agony. But what other feelings may accompany you, when something as doomy and agonising as “Triumvirate of Liturgical Desecration” resounds? This is a true soundtrack to apocalypse, an experience, which you’ll either find as too suffocating and too monotonous or you will let yourself be dragged into these catacombs, where the band performs their rituals and join them in communion. The “love it or hate it” thing is usually pretty difficult to review, I must admit. You immediately put yourself on one of the two sides, but whatever you’ll write you must remember that there can be many people, who simply won’t agree with you. Not that I care, but being as objective as I only can I must say that I really like “Revulsion of Seraphic Grace” and just as I worshipped Encoffination, I also worship this album. But unlike the Encoffination stuff, which is slow in its entirety, Father Befouled makes sure that their “Onward to Golgotha” influence is not only based on creepy, doomy riffs and with such tracks as “Indulgence of Abhorrent Prophecies” and “Devourment of Piety” they also incorporate a lot of fast parts, which are also as heavy as death metal can only get. Forget though about the technical show off or hiper blasting in the modern death metal style. Father Befouled plays like it was 1990 and what’s more – they’re good at it.
It must be said that with this sort of death metal, where the playing is so utterly heavy and gloomy, without any additional instruments, without any extras, but where the whole is based on brutal, either slow or fast, but always powerful riff and deep, demonic growl, it is easy to start to eat your own tail, repeat yourself and become just boring. Luckily Father Befouled managed to avoid that and “Revulsion of Seraphic Grace” is their triumph. This band, like not many others, has played this sort of death metal in the rightful way and with passion, so I must definitely recommend Father Befouled to all of you, who’re into the early Incantation and who also like some of the other, present bands, of this style, like Encoffination, Disma or Dead Congregation.
Standout tracks: “Indulgence of Abhorrent Prophecies”, “Triumvirate of Liturgical Desecration”
Final rate: 80/100

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Cruciamentum - Engulfed In Darkness

CRUCIAMENTUM - Engulfed In Darkness (NUCLEAR WINTER - CD 2011)
Aaaaarrrggghhh, the death metal crusade, which Cruciamentum so successfully began on their amazing demo / CD “Convocation of Crawling Chaos” continues with this new material, MCD titled “Engulfed in Desolation”. If you have read my review of “Convocation…”, then you may remember how much I liked this stuff and that I considered it to be one of the best death metal releases of the present time, wondering at the same time whether Cruciamentum will be able to make anything better. I still had my hopes high for “Engulfed in Desolation”. And the first look at the CD was more than promising, as I just love the artwork for it. Daniel Corcuera did a brilliant job and I guess it is one of my favourite cover arts from the latest releases. The visual aspect of such releases is very important to me; you know, this is why I (or should I believe that we?) buy stuff… also to enjoy the artwork; otherwise we would be happy having just the soulless mp3’s. In case of Cruciamentum’s releases I must say that I really like their artworks and layouts. All are very detailed and so well sketched, by some of the best artists of nowadays, in case of “Engulfed in Desolation” by Chilean maniac, who also plays for Slaughtbbath!
But of corpse the music is always most important. Style wise, I have a feeling, like Cruciamentum has slightly developed on “Engulfed in Desolation” and while “Convocation of Crawling Chaos” was more or less just Incantation worship, then this newest MLP is slightly different. The influence from McEntee’s band is less dominating, although still present in few parts, but I think that mainly Cruciamentum took some evil spells from the likes of Morbid Angel, Immolation, Vital Remains, Bolt Thrower… just to say these few names. Already the first track is something what you wouldn’t find on the “Convocation…” material. “Fallen in Disease” is blasting with fury and massive brutality of the mentioned Immolation and Morbid Angel and I must say that Cruciamentum really slits the throats with the monolithic, heavy and bulldozing riffing. The pace is often fast as hell also and I don’t think that the band was blasting so much on their previous release. But I especially liked the final theme of this song, which is slower and more monumental, with some keyboards in the back of the wall of the riff. Arrghh, it truly sounds amazing. “Through Gates of Morpheus Realms” is again blasting with fury and hatred, creating a dismal atmosphere, but also releasing a lot of wrath and “Thrones Turned to Rust” begins with even faster motif, and really I can say that with the songs like these three, which I just mentioned, Cruciamentum has changed their style a lot. But of corpse it is still an old school death metal and one, which is of the highest quality, as even Vital Remains wouldn’t be ashamed to have a song like “Thrones Turned to Rust” on their album.
I must admit that the final song of this MCD is probably the finest piece of all and one, which perfectly shows the current style of Cruciamentum. “Unsanctified Temples” has everything what this British band should be known for… I mean it starts with really aggressive and fast part, which again will remind you the bands I mentioned above, but then at some point a more melodic theme appears and finally in the second part of this song the pace slows down drastically into amazingly atmospheric and heavy, doomy riff, what creates truly apocalyptic feeling. There are again some keyboards used and the whole track becomes truly eerie and dark, only to get more brutal and faster at the end. Yeah, “Unsanctified Temples” is just a superb song!
But as a whole “Engulfed in Desolation” gives me a small headache, as I cannot really say that I liked this material more than “Convocation of Crawling Chaos”. Hmm, both are truly exceptional and superb, but I guess I liked the atmosphere and the doomy feeling of the previous recording more, what doesn’t mean that I don’t like “Engulfed…”! Ha, I wish every band was as classy in this rotten death metal style as Cruciamentum are. Definitely I can say one thing – Cruciamentum has developed their style a lot since the demo. They became more technical, more tight and relentless, more brutal and faster. Also the production is more professional. I guess the best thing to do is just to enjoy both releases and bang the skull when listening to these colossal death metal beasts and just stop saying that this was better and that is not. Moaning is for pussies, so fuck that… Cruciamentum slays and that’s the most important fact! Hail!
Standout track: “Unsanctified Temples”
Final rate: 90/100

Cruciamentum - Convocation of Crawling Chaos

CRUCIAMENTUM - Convocation of Crawling Chaos (NUCLEAR WINTER - CD 2011)
I still feel amazed by the quality and passion, which so many new death metal bands deliver, when they play the old styled sounds like 1990 only just began. Really, would you expect three years ago to hear such amazing bands as Disma, Father Befouled, Invidious, Miasmal and so many more? I guess no, but this is why the bigger is my enthusiasm for this never ending wave of old school death metal zombies. Every month I find about new band or release and some time ago I got interested in Cruciamentum. This English squadron of death was popping up frequently in many publications or blogs, which I have read and so I finally decided to give a try and listen to some of their songs, which quickly made me purchase two CDs, which Cruciamentum released so far. “Convocation of Crawling Chaos” is actually the second demo of those Brits, but I think the overwhelming reaction on this cassette pushed them and Nuclear Winter Records to release it on CD and LP. Since I missed my chance to buy the vinyl, I am happy to have the compact disc and I must admit that this is probably the best English death metal band, which was spawned in the darkness ever since the early 90’s, when Bolt Thrower, Cancer, Benediction and Decomposed were spreading their sounds of doom and apocalypse. I am very, very impressed by “Convocation of Crawling Chaos”!!!!!!!!!
Style wise Cruciamentum obviously takes some credit from the legacy of their native scene, so don’t be surprised to hear some Bolt Throwerism here and there or even some very, very early Paradise Lost and Decomposed doomy parts. But the biggest influence on “Convocation of Crawling Chaos” must have been delivered from across the ocean, from the band called Incantation. Most of this material has been played in doomy tempo, but while so many bands fail to impress with slow playing, which often turns into boring crap, Cruciamentum wins, as the sounds they created in the catacombs of Resonance Sound Studio have a great strength and ability to crush the walls. This music is truly massive and damn heavy, and so is the production, which nicely underlines the energetic and powerful feeling of those sounds. Each of the four tracks is excellent and I like them totally. The songwriting is ideal; so memorable parts, which just make you bang the skull in frenzy and feel the earth trembling, especially when the band fastens the pace and really seem to be a beast unleashed from hell… I love the riffing and I really like the deep, guttural vocals of D.L., who growls like Craig Pillard. Finally I also like the sound of “Convocation of Crawling Chaos”. I am not going to make complain on anything here; Cruciamentum made a fantastic demo and made me worship their name in fanatical ways! "Rotten Flesh Crucifix" is definitely a song, which caught my attention most; it is simply superb, maybe slightly more atmospheric than the rest, it even has some melodic leads here and there and keyboard played background, what only adds more darkness to the already obscure, eerie atmosphere.
When I listen to “Convocation of Crawling Chaos” for the hundredth time I still cannot resist its apocalyptic sounds and the eerie atmosphere, which they evoke. In my opinion Cruciamentum is a band, which is destined to gain some sort of underground success – or however you’ll call being recognised and worshiped by the horde of dedicated maniacs. With the line up, which consists the members of already established and respected bands like Adorior and Grave Miasma, Cruciamentum brings attention and do not disappoint. I am afraid only that with such a strong material as “Convocation of Crawling Chaos” it will be damn difficult for this band to record something even more killer and depraved. Time will tell, as their second opus, “Engulfed in Desolation”, already waits for me. For now I can say that Cruciamentum is as good as Disma, two greatest bands, which play this sort of Incantation worshipping death metal.
Standout tracks: "Rotten Flesh Crucifix"
Final rate: 95/100

Hazael - Clairvoyance (re-issue)

HAZAEL - Clairvoyance (WM PSYCHO - CD 2011)
To re-release any of Hazael’s recordings is undisputedly a great decision, in my opinion. Back in the early 90’s they were one of my favourite Polish death metal bands and they actually still are, although I hate the fact that all recordings from them, which I have, are on the old cassettes, which aren’t in the best condition anymore. While I find it ridiculous to pay 200-300 dollars for the CD version of “Thor”, I was really hoping that finally someone will decide to re-release this album, but the copyright problems make it impossible yet. So, as the sort of consolation we get the re-release of Hazael’s great demo “Clairvoyance”! This is actually the second of Hazael’s demos CD release, as earlier the same WM Psycho had released “Chapel of Doom / Rehearsal '91” compilation, but that material wasn’t so interesting for me, mainly due to the incredibly poor audio quality. With “Clairvoyance” this problem does not exist, as the sound on this demo is really good and I even like it more than the production on “Thor”. Anyway, I must admit that I really like the work, which WM Psycho did for this release of “Clairvoyance”. The booklet for this CD is just killer, as it has all the lyrics plus a lot of scans from the fanzines, with old interviews with Hazael. I’m afraid that the foreign listeners won’t find it as interesting, as all these interviews are in Polish, but for me it is great, as I could have read some really cool, old chats with the band and remind myself some important facts from their history. Great! Besides, the CD has a multimedia bonus section, with an old live video from 1992 and my copy also includes a small poster and a pin, so really I got everything what I could only wish for. I hope though that maybe WM Psycho will consider releasing “Clairvoyance” on vinyl also, it would satisfy me fully then.
I guess I should finally write some words about the music on “Clairvoyance”. First, let me just say that I think this is one of the best Polish death metal demos from that period of time (and ever). If I was about to make a list of five my all time favourite Polish demos, then along with “Morbid Reich”, “Necromanical Exmortis”, “Dead Condemnation” and “Invisible Reality” I would definitely put there also “Clairvoyance”. This demo truly impressed me ever since I have listened to it for the first time almost 20 years ago and I can really say that I guess I even like it more than “Thor”, although I also like the album a lot. But there are some things, which make “Clairvoyance” better than “Thor”. One of them would be the production. When I listen to “Thor” I sometimes have a feeling like the album lacked some aggression and became maybe slightly too soft in many parts and “Clairvoyance” is a bit rawer and thus also more violent and energetic and I like it a lot, even if there are some mistakes and in general the sound is far from being perfect. It’s got the charm of early 90’s Polish death metal productions and as such I like it a lot and I don’t really care if the sound doesn’t match the standards made by the Swedish bands on their albums.
I said that the material is pretty aggressive, but you must know that it still is also very melodic. There’s no need to deny that Hazael was strongly influenced by the Swedish death metal scene and their music has many patterns, which can be compared to the likes of Cemetary, Desultory, Excruciate, Afflicted, “Astral Sleep” era Tiamat, as well as Dismember. But what is great is that Hazael also managed to find their own sound within this Swedish lethal niche. Once you hear their song, you simply know it is Hazael, as they have some characteristic riffing, which was developed on “Clairvoyance” and then perfected on “Thor” and also you’ll obviously recognise the vocals, as Tom sounds like no other vocalist. His voice is maybe slightly similar to Mathias Lodmalm and Johan Edlund, but is characteristic enough to become one of the most significant things in Hazael music.
I must say that I really like the material on “Clairvoyance”. All songs are truly superb and the songwriting is top notch. The guitar leads, all the melodies… the whole guitars’ work is simply amazing. They especially show their great potential in those slower and more atmospheric parts, as the faster fragments may sometimes feel to be slightly less effective and poorer, but only really slightly. The opening song, “Legate of Goat Tyrant” is definitely the finest song, impressing with great ideas and especially those parts, where Hazael added acoustic guitars and all those epic passages, but to be honest none of these tracks are bad; there’s absolutely nothing what I would find as weak or forgettable, all songs are based on great riffs and harmonies, are well varied and dynamic and offer everything what I like about the Swedish death metal, so I’m not going to complain at all. “Clairvoyance” is really fine demo. Desultory would probably be the closest of all bands, which I could compare Hazael to and since I’m a big fan of the early (and the latest also!) works of this band, and since I also have a lot of great memories and respect for “Clairvoyance” demo and “Thor” then I cannot recommend it to you enough and I cannot even stop listening to it, so damn great it is.
Final rate: 87/100

Nominon - The True Face of Death

NOMINON - The True Face of Death (TPL Records - LP 2004)
Bands like Nominon deserve an unquestionable respect from the maniacs, in my opinion, for standing on the side of unfashionable metal sounds, for their own pleasure and passion, not for the wallets of greedy label managers. I mean Nominon started to play obscure and morbid death metal already at the time, when no one else (or not so many) were thinking about doing so. You know, their first album, “Diabolical Bloodshed”, was released in 1999 and death metal at that time was barely surviving, slowly raising its rotten head again, after the few years of black metal domination. In Sweden only Nominon, Repugnant and Kaamos (plus Dismember from the old guard) have been already slaughtering with something what nowadays so many other bands try to explore. And for that I have a lot of respect for them. Although I cannot say that I like all Nominon recordings, but most of them I do… This 2004’s EP “The True Face of Death” may actually belong to those less favourable recordings in my opinion, but it is decent enough to have in my collection and give a spin once in a while.
The main fault of “The True Face of Death” lays in its production. While the songwriting is not bad at all and each track has some good riffs and they all have some memorable moments, the sound of “The True Face of Death” effectively deprives the music of all its real values. The whole material sounds annoyingly raw… of corpse that usually is not the problem for me, but in this case I don’t like it so much, as the production takes away all the energy and powerful feeling from those songs, while the good production would nicely complete. The drums (snare drum) sound especially bad, in my opinion, and it does take some seconds, before you get used to it… This is why I don’t like the opening theme on this EP, as I hate the snare drums sound in it. I am sure though that if “The True Face of Death” was recorded in better conditions, then this EP would be a real death metal slaughter. I really wish if it had more traditional Swedish production… aarrghhh! Anyway, “The True Face of Death” is as it is and no one will be able to change it.
While I’m not so fond of the production, I quite like the songs from this EP. These horror influenced tunes do evoke the death metal feeling straight away and when I listen to it I have a feeling like Nominon was hugely influenced by Merciless. Both bands seem to have quite many thrash metal influences in their music and blend them with death metal aggression in excellent way. The riffs are razor sharp and are slaying with cruel force, in songs like “White Death” especially, which is quite fast track. The opening riff for “Amityville” may give you even the strong resemblance to Slayer on “Hell Awaits”, at other times there may be a similarity to Kreator… And the pace is quite fast and relentless almost all the time, when you hear the first four songs. The last one, “Afterlife Desires”, is completely opposite to the rest of the material from “The True Face of Death” and it surprises we very doomy and slow playing and melancholic atmosphere, but I must admit that Nominon did a great job and I like this song most from the whole EP! It is truly great and I would never expect Nominon to be able to compose such a killer doom death metal song, so well done here! It is worth to buy “The True Face of Death” just for this one track alone, believe me! But obviously the fans of Merciless should like the rest also. I think the whole material is pretty fine and solid.
Standout track: “Afterlife Desires”
Final rate: 70/100