If I’m not mistaken, we’ve covered pretty much everything Californian death dealers Draghkar has released here at the Vault. They’re one of our favorites, and why wouldn’t they be – they really do perfectly encapsulate what our friend Kyle Shaw, vocalist for Naptown’s finest DM unit Obscene, calls ‘ignorant death metal.’
Yeah…being mostly a black metal dude, I kinda freaked out the first time I saw that phrase. Fortunately, what he meant has nothing to do with ideologies and everything to do with sick riffs, acid-splashed gutturals, and caveman-like brutality. Kinda like the style of death metal his own band plays, actually. And both Draghkar and Obscene have releases on Blood Harvest. Coincidence?
At any rate…IMV has been down with Draghkar since the beginning. So why fuck up that streak? On March 22, Horror Pain Gore Death will be releasing a CD compilation of all their material to date called Eternal Abyss (preorder here): all the tracks from Draghkar’s previous EPs and splits, plus five never-before-released live tracks from their Summer 2018 tour. We’re premiering those live tracks here today at the Vault.
I’ll be honest here – death metal has never been my favorite of genres to see live because of how…variable an experience it can be. A lot of the music requires such a degree of precision that there’s very little difference between hearing it live and on the record. As such, it either takes a lot of confidence or balls the size of cantaloupes to add a five-song live set to an eight-song collection that includes the studio versions of all five tracks.
Whichever one it is, Draghkar is justified in believing they have it. I very rarely use the word ‘fun’ when describing death metal, but they certainly sounded like they were having it on the night this set was taped. The performances are raw, loose, and just on the right side of reckless abandon. “Traversing the Abyss” crushes. “Crushing in the Town of Blinded Eyes” is much more punkish than the studio version. The energy with which they tear through “Eternal Disintegration (Of the Body and of the Mind)” and “Fading Into Emptiness” is almost enough to fry your speakers.
In short: all of the radness, with none of those unpleasant small room metal show smells. So smash that play button and turn it way the fuck up…