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Album Reviews Reviews Short Sharp Shock

Short Sharp Shock #31: Death Metal Special Edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Short Sharp Shock, where we take a look at some of the shorter metal releases that are out there.


Plague Throat - Evolutionary ImpasseBand(s): Plague Throat

Title: Evolutionary Impasse

Style(s): Death Metal

Duration: 17 minutes

Release date: February 20, 2019

Let us start with the blistering and intense death metal offered up by India’s Plague Throat. 2017’s The Human Paradox was a raging metallic monster, and it seems that the band’s quality levels haven’t dropped off at all. The music on Evolutionary Impasse is both brutal and technical, without straying too far into one or the other territories. The balance works well, allowing the band to craft accessible death metal with a few qualities from different bands/styles combined. It’s an effective technique that Plague Throat have,  and this EP is a very solid listen.

Vale of Pnath - AccursedBand(s): Vale of Pnath

Title: Accursed

Style(s): Technical Black/Death Metal

Duration: 28 minutes

Release date: May 17, 2019

Up next is the latest EP from US technical death metallers Vale of Pnath. The music here mixes extreme technical proficiency, dark blackened majesty, modern sci-fi melody, and razor sharp speed to produce a collection of tracks that’s impressively enjoyable. The resulting blackened melodic technicality that the band craft is definitely a combination that gives Vale of Pnath a distinctive sound, even if you can obviously hear where the various components come from.

I honestly thought I was already familiar with Vale of Pnath’s work in some way, but it turns out it was just the band’s name I knew. As such, this is my first exposure to them, and I very much like what I hear.

Vitriol - ChrysalisBand(s): Vitriol

Title: Chrysalis

Style(s): Black/Death Metal

Duration: 21 minutes

Release date: April 19, 2019

Now it’s time for some monstrous German blackened death metal. Vitriol take rotten, atavistic death metal and stretch it out to epic-length tracks, filling in the gaps that appear with elements of black metal. This produces songs that are foul and grim in very enjoyable ways. On one hand the music seems barely held together; the music is sometimes so feral and viscerally violent that it almost feels like it’s going to break loose from the band’s control and go on a wanton killing spree. On the other hand, despite its rabid, unkempt nature, Vitriol, (a band aptly named), keep an iron grip on what they have created, channelling its fury into two tracks that stretch the boundaries of death metal, while still staying true to its core.

Chaotic and hypnotic.

Foul Body Autopsy - The Unquiet DeadBand(s): Foul Body Autopsy

Title: The Unquiet Dead

Style(s): Melodic Death Metal

Duration: 10 minutes

Release date: March 6, 2019

Foul Body Autopsy is a one man death metal machine from the UK. The death metal on The Unquiet Dead is melodic and thrashy, and is a more refined and considered proposition than the EP cover might suggest. Yes, there’s brutality and aggression here, but there’s also an appreciation for when to take the foot off the accelerator and deliver melodic leads, atmospheric sections, or hook-based grooves. Think of the non-symphonic melodic aspects of Septic Flesh, mixed with elements of Hypocrisy and a hint of Kataklysm and Arch Enemy, and you’ll have a decent starting point for Foul Body Autopsy.

Professional and well-executed, this deserves, (and is capable of achieving), a much wider audience than it will probably get.

Anomalism - Parasitic SpawnBand(s): Anomalism

Title: Parasitic Spawn

Style(s): Technical Death Metal

Duration: 17 minutes

Release date: January 4, 2019

These Canadians favour blasting speed and ripping groove, all delivered with breakneck technicality and an ear for a decent tune. This latter point is particularly important, as many a band out there can deliver ridiculously technical self-indulgent music, but far less can forge this into actual songs.

Mixing together the technical aspects of a band like Psycroptic, the brutal precision and grinding intricacy of a band like Cryptopsy, the melodic heft of a band like The Faceless, and the hooks of a band like The Black Dahlia Murder, Anomalism’s debut EP is a very, very strong first foray into the world of extreme metal.

With plenty of memorability and a higher-than-average amount of songwriting skill and delivery, Parasitic Spawn has firmly marked Anomalism as ones to watch for the future.

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