EMBRIONAL - The Devil Inside (OLD TEMPLE - CD 2015)
Definitely this is one of the most anticipated death metal releases this year for me. And I say that as a fan of Embrional, not someone, who wants to show his musical patriotism or whatever… I simply really fuckin love all previous releases of this band; both demos, that crushing split with Empheris and finally a killer debut album “Absolutely Anti-Human Behaviors” from 2012 – all are killer! Now, three years since the release of debut album, Old Temple releases album number two, titled “The Devil Inside” (which also appeared as a cassette and soon there will be also vinyl available through Hellthrasher Productions). And damn, this album obviously do not disappoint. I cannot say yet if it’s a better material when compared to the first album or not… maybe the best is to say that they’re just equally great and worthy releases, so I will stick to this compromise, but definitely Embrional delivers a nice bunch of interesting and high quality death metal tunes which should be a real must have for all maniacs of this brutal and powerful music.
I guess one of the most striking things about “The Devil Inside” is the diversity of the music, which Embrional composed. Definitely this is not one of those one dimensional and typical death metal offerings, but carefully crafted piece, which should be a real feast for all not so narrow minded maniacs. I’m not saying that we deal here with a revolutionary take on brutal death metal, but surely it’s just not “yet another old school / cut’n’paste” copy of death metal, which often floods the scene these days (not that I have anything against that haha). And even if you can trace some influences from one or another band, the final result is far away from stereotypes. The way the songs are built is surely a nice change from the classic schemes and is also sometimes a challenge for the listener to get used to these songs, as Embrional often shifts from one way of playing to the other, also changing the mood – from brutal and fast to slow and atmospheric with a lot of weird harmonies, etc… And actually that atmospheric side of “The Devil Inside” is something what personally I was quite surprised to hear, especially in such a great dose. I just expected more dense, straight forward and ferocious death metal, maybe not necessarily in the same style as the killer second demo “Annihilation” but not far from it… Meanwhile a lot of attention here is putted on building the dark, sick atmosphere, there’s more of the slow pace maybe than the blasts… But damn, not blasts make death metal killer, but great powerful riffs, dark feeling, harsh, commanding vocals and impressive drumming – and all that you shall find on “The Devil Inside”.
And from the very first song, Embrional makes a huge impression on me. “Evil’s Mucus” is the most powerful and fastest song here, crushing everything on its way with no mercy and not hesitating to finish off the slaughter until everyone’s dead. This song has great riffs, dense section and really blows the speakers out. Awesome! And the second song “Funeral March” is actually one of those most diverse pieces here… it has great harmonies, nice arrangements and ideas and damn... that drumming is great, so is also the guitar lead here. There’re some short blasts, but generally it’s slow and mesmerizing. The same can be said about such “The Abyss” I think and most of the other songs from this album. So, as a whole I like this album in entirety... and except one song (which I will mention later) it’s all damn good. Oh, listen to for example such “(Behind) The Mask of Sanity” with its repetitive, almost circling riffage or “Venom” with killer, massive heavy bits. You shall be dismembered!
And if I was really going to mention some bands, which probably had some influence on Embrional, then there would be the likes of Immolation (which I think is the most obvious comparison), Pestilence, Morbid Angel, Nile, Incantation… So, expect just the high quality death metal! And as I mentioned before, there’s only one song, which I honestly really don’t like here and it’s the final track “Whores, Drugs and Brain Dead”, which is very different to the rest of the material and just not impressive at all. One can treat it more like a bonus, but unnecessary one in my opinion. Anyways, the album is just awesome, it’s 43 minutes of killer death metal (minus three for “Whores, Drugs…” haha) and I totally recommend it to you all. They’re definitely among the best bands here in Poland.
Standout tracks: “Evil’s Mucus”, “Funeral March”, “(Behind) The Mask of Sanity”
Final rate: 85/100