The weekend might be time to unwind, collect our thoughts, and get some much-needed rest and relaxation, but who’s to say it can’t be about audio torture, visions of a hellish existence, and a total assault on your senses from some of the finest new death metal units laying waste to the underground scene? It’s great for that, too!
Dark Descent has been bringing us torture-filled death metal for many years now and already gave us the new album from Lvcifyre record this year. Now, just weeks later, with this year unable to even get its traction, the label is back with two more killers that mash to death all of the bands that pile the gloss and polish on their final products. Instead, these two bands smear theirs with blood and guts, serve it you you that way, and force your mouth closed so you can choke on every raw bit. In fact, each record is so explosive, we chose to combine each of these records and declare our first dual picks of the week. It’s all the death you’ll need to tide you over until the snow melts and the pretty flowers grow again.
First up is the Corpsessed, a Finnish outfit that’s been mauling people since formation in 2007, after after releasing a pair of EPs, finally are offering up their debut long player “Abysmal Thresholds.” Hell, that album title and band name alone should be enough to entice you into hearing this maniacal madness, and if you like your death raw and ugly, you definitely won’t be disappointed. The band is comprised of vocalist Niko Matilainen, guitarists Jyri Lustig and Matti Mäkelä (who also provides backing vocals), bassist Mikko Pöllä, and drummer Jussi-Pekka Manner, and they make a snarling, filthy sound that is both monstrous and demonic.
Following a weird, ghoulish “Intro” track, it’s full bore into “Of Desolation,” a grim song with vicious riffing, mangling violence, deep, snarling growls, and even some menacing doom to give it an extra dose of blackness. Then it’s on to “Trepanation,” a song that explodes out of the gates, treated with gurgly vocals, wailing terror, and strong lead guitar lines that scorch flesh. “Sovereign” follows, and it’s full of sizzling guitar work, rumbles on the low end, belchy growls, and gritty, gut-splattering fury that is unforgiving. “Necrosophic Channeling” is the second-longest cut on the record at 7:07, opening with deeps gasps of atmosphere and funeral bells before it settles into a mid-paced, mauling track that’s massive, has hazes of doom, and unleashes unforeseen dashes of horror and trauma designed to make you flee in fear.
“Ravening Tides” tears the lid off the second half of the album, with murky keys, a grinding assault, wicked riffing, and wild growling, hardly giving a moment for catching one’s breath. “Apotheosis” fires heavily from the first moments, with lurching vocals, more muddy guitar work that seeks to choke, and doom horns that should chill your bones. It is massive and savage, and it feeds perfectly into “Demonical Subjugation,” one of the most intense songs on the record, where the band blows right through you with slow-driving death metal that is relentlessly heavy. “Transcend Beyond Human” is as scary as the title indicates, with fiery madness and even more doom goodness, which runs right into the 7:30-long closer “The Threshold.” That song explodes on sight, with guttural growls and some morbidly dark guitar work, whipping and slashing at you. The sound’s last half is positively crushing, with strange sounds whirring, guitars creating a hell of chaos, and the drums being beaten to a pulp. It feels like the Earth’s crust has been ripped open, and all of the undesirable forces lurking below have spilled forth to kill us all.
Corpsessed’s debut is a strong one, and yet another new band that indicates death metal’s future is alive, well, and in good hands. I can’t really point to anything they could change or adjust, because they seem to be in damn good shape. Just keep increasing the audio body count, and I’m pretty sure people like me will remain happy with whatever Corpsessed does.
Next, let’s look at Lie in Ruins, yet another band from Finland (Dark Descent might as well set up a satellite office there for all the talent the find) that started in the early 1990s as Dissected, before taking on this moniker in 2002. Their ambitions are a little greater, as their desire isn’t to get in, pound you, and get out, but to spread out their mission, crush you for long periods of time, and leave you begging for mercy. The band is made up of vocalist Roni S. (who also howls for death smashers Desolate Shrine), guitarists Roni A and Tuomas K, bassist Jussi V, and drummer Aki K, and their latest album “Towards Divine Death” is their sophomore effort and follow-up to 2009’s “Swallowed By the Void.”
This 71-minute pounder opens with “Endless Void,” with eerie bells chiming in the winds and the band delving into a doomy death explosion. The guitar work is very strong, the vocals are ugly, and the drumming is massive. “Charred Walls” sounds like what its title indicates, that being soot and dirt choking your lungs. The song is smothering and drubbing, with the vocals bubbling below the surface, while an old-school death metal feel permeates the entire track. It’s just a total killer. “Blood of the Dead” runs a meaty 8:08, and it goes headfirst back into doom’s cold caves But the track also injects some lightning speed into the proceedings as well, with vicious howls and a stampeding gallop adding to its violent effectiveness. “The Jaws of the Wolf” is another long one at 8:29, and it gets treated with strong guitar riffs, maddening vocals, and furious clubbing, making it a track that stands out for its heaviness among songs that are devastating.
“I Am the Dark” opens up like a killing machine, but it’s not just bloodshed. The guitar lines are nice and warm, calling back to the early days of heavy metal, and even the serving of death here has a vintage feel to it. It’s a really nice cut. “Sacrum Vitae” has a slow-driving, ominous, almost torturous first few minutes before it kicks up dust and starts wailing full bore. “Venomous Tongues” is the shortest song on the album at 5:14, and it uses its time wisely combining charnel guitars, wrenching vocals, and more speed. “Beneath the Surface,” a 9:16-long masher, is lurching and heaving, with the drums standing out as the bone-crushing highlight. The riffs are sweltering as they interact and push each other back and forth, and the final moments are immersed in doom crunch. The 11-minute closer “Of Darkness and Blackened Fire” takes its time to set up, slowly luring you into its trap before it pounces with stampeding guitar work, gritty vocals, and sweltering heat, finally slowing down with just a few minutes left. At that point, piano begins to drip, almost as a final epitaph to all the heads they crushed and bodies they destroyed in the previous 70 minutes. It’s a fitting, creepy end to a massive record.
Lie in Ruins clearly have a grasp of what they want to accomplish, and they do so with infernal power, might, and agony. They are exploring more hellish terrain with their music and finding ways to keep you sustaining massive beatings for even longer amounts of time than your average three-minutes-and-out band. If that doesn’t make you happy, then I don’t know what’s wrong with you.
For more on Corpsessed, go here: https://www.facebook.com/Corpsessed
For more on Lie in Wait, go here: https://www.facebook.com/lieinruins
To buy either album, go here: http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/store/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.darkdescentrecords.com/