Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Altars / Heaving Earth - Engulfed

I was very interested in getting this split tape, as it features one of my favourite Czech bands Heaving Earth, whose 2010’s album “Diabolic Prophecies” did some serious damage to my hearing and after listening session of it I had to answer some questions to the police, who wanted to know why all my neighbors are found dead (dead but dreaming!!!!!!). But OK, Gabriel from Nihilistic Holocaust came with helpful hand once more and provided a copy of “Engulfed”. This split features also band called Altars – I never heard of them before – with their Promo 2012 songs and then Heaving Earth presents completely new material from “Redemption Ablaze” promo.
So, starting with Altars… they’re Australian and play very brutal, almost grinding (not tempo wise though) at times, but also very old school death metal. The sound on their material is very harsh, filthy as hell and brutal as fuck… I really mean that. When I first started to listen to their first track – “Husk” – I was like: “Shit, have they recorded that in a dungeon or tomb or what???”. It did take me several minutes to adopt and get used to this raw production and I must be honest, I still feel like it lacks something. But the music is fine, it is extreme, brutal old school death metal. There’s quite a lot of complexity in their music, but all is devoured by that brutal and tight feeling and gloomy, deep vocals. I don’t feel crazy about Altars music, to be honest, but I like the slow parts of their music, from the other hand though this promotional material definitely lacks a better production (drums especially)… but definitely this band did manage to create an eerie and obscure, almost suffocating atmosphere, so fans of the likes of Incantation or Ignivomous, watch them! Currently Altars have been signed to Nuclear Winter and expect the release of the debut album “Paramnesia” (LP version will be released by Blood Harvest).
And now Heaving Earth… well, I already mentioned that I liked their debut CD, so I was really looking forward to hear “Redemption Ablaze” promo. And man, they did not fail. Great, tight, fast and technical death metal, in the vein of Morbid Angel, Monstrosity, Immolation, Malevolent Creation and few more, mainly American death legends. Both songs from “Redemption Ablaze” rip the guts out and I must say that I really like them both… the riffs, the vocals, drumming and the production  - everything sounds great and right from the first second I felt very pleased with Heaving Earth’s music. This stuff is aggressive, is filled with pure energy and if Altars lacked that spark, which would ablaze the speakers, this Czech band did that in three seconds. And that ending part of “I am Nothing” just shreds totally, what an awesome piece of death metal!!!! Cannot wait then for the second album of Heaving Earth, which I hope those guys will do very soon.
Final rate: Altars (65/100) Heaving Earth (85/100) – overall it is 75/100

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