I sincerely hope that everybody reading this either respects New Jersey or is prepared for combat, because the almighty NJ-based collective NVNM is set to release the debut album of one of their strongest acts: the death metal outfit Siege Column. This riff-fueled display of metallic supremacy titled Inferno Deathpassion is an exercise in to-the-point competency, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to the niche market that it’s appealing to, considering that the band’s two previous demos were well-received. The full length only develops their lo-fi speed-infused death metal sound further and is thus able to satisfy returning listeners as well as serve as a starting point for those unfamiliar with the group.
Siege Column shares members with Death Fortress, Massive Retaliation, and an impressive number of other bands, but the similarities with those two groups specifically are immediately apparent on Inferno Deathpassion from the thick, unintelligible vocals and the fuzzy (but tough) guitar tone. Still, this record manages to distinguish itself among the flavors of underground death metal in the same way that “rusted steel and bone marrow” might be a standout flavor in your standard ice cream parlor. The record provides a distinctly old-school and strangely comfortable setting for a barrage of consistently effective riffing. The punchy drum sound only complements the old school sound.
The riffs tend towards the simpler side, but it’s that simplicity that allows for Inferno Deathpassion to resonate in such a raw and primitive way, and allow the tracks to slip between definitive genre placements without issue. The traditional and speed metal characteristics heard on songs like “Sathanas is Near” and “Belial Commando” certainly help to keep things catchy, and further prove that Siege Column is willing to play around with their influences to produce a markedly organic variety between tracks.
It’s this subtle uniqueness that gives Inferno Deathpassion the vitality necessary to strike a satisfying balance between a hard-hitting record and a surprisingly digestible and welcoming listen. Siege Column is straightforward in their song-writing, and their intentions remain completely apparent from the first note to the last; they represent unrelenting worship of death, evil, and all those sweet little tidbits that have made extreme music so enticing since the very beginning. You should know whether or not this style of death metal is your cup of tea within a song or two, and if you decide to stick around, you’ll be in for nine tracks of fast and fuzzy ferocity.