DEATH EVOCATION: IMPOSER, SWALLOWED, DEFAMER
In regards to the title: It would be super adorable if I went ahead and started writing about Deathevokation now, right? Sorry, not this time — even though The Chalice of Ages ruled!
I am, however, here to talk about death metal, and nothing but. The following three bands hail from various corners of the globe and follow the same dusty blueprints laid down by the masters. Lend them your ears.
As even a quick listen to Imposer will reveal, this Italian ensemble chose a diabolically appropriate moniker for themselves. They employ a disciplined, almost martial approach to their hellacious mash-up of mid-period Behemoth with vintage Morbid Angel (some of the riffs sound lifted straight off of Altars of Madness, and I’m way okay with that) and shades of Hate Eternal, and create something that is, quite frankly, imposing. The production is warm and dry, yet clinical in its way; the sound is crisp, intimidating, and intense, and the vocals are a hoarse, deep roar, rather similar to those of Belphegor’s Helmuth. Anyone with a soft spot for Florida death metal needs to jump all over this immediately! Imposer’s most recent release was 2010’s Divine Intolerance EP, but are due to release a split LP fairly soon with Canadian black/death tyrants Adversarial via the excellent Vault of Dried Bones.
We all know that Finnish death metal has been been absolutely decimating all comers for decades (see: DEMIGOD!!), but these past few years have seen a particularly virulent new strain emerge amongst the populace. One of the nastiest permutations thus far has reared its ugly head under the guise of Helsinki quartet Swallowed, whose sickening take on death/doom is as depraved as it is irresistible. Heaviness is a given, as is the crippled tempo, the Autopsy references, the antique guitar tone, and the strangled snarls torn from Ville Kojonen’s vodka-weathered throat. What makes Swallowed special, though, is how goddamn well they put it all together. It’s all about the power of the riffs and the feeling behind them, and Swallowed have got it fucking DOWN. Obituary wish they could still pull this slow’n’heavy shit off the way these Finns do so effortlessly. No, they’re not reinventing any wheels, but no one who digs this style of doomy, primitive death is really looking for progression or ornamentation (this is metal of death, not fucking djent).
They haven’t released anything since their 2010 self-titled EP, but are currently hard at work on their debut full-length (due out on vinyl via Detest Records/Me Saco Un Ojo; Dark Descent will have the CD version).
Unlike many of their other Australian cohorts (looking at you, Portal!), Brisbane’s Defamer elect to keep things nice and simple, and unabashedly brutal. This is death metal done the old way; Defamer set up camp at the crossroads of NYDM (Immolation and Incantation especially) and Polish death (Vader would be proud), relying on chunky, plodding riffs to transmit their staccato screeds against humanity. The young quintet are no stranger to the concept of dynamics, though; shifting tempos and intensities keep songs fresh, and they even slip in a few sly dashes of technicality, just to keep you wary. Nods to Dissection and Bolt Thrower surface from time to time (no wonder, since they’re listed as influences) but meld well with the overall composition. Meat and potatoes death metal from Down Under? Cheers to that.
Defamer’s new full-length, Decrepit Rituals, was just released on Obsidian Records, and is well worth checking out – try it before you buy it here.
Kim Kelly (or Grim Kim, if we’re being formal) scribbles for a number of sweet metal publications (Terrorizer, Brooklyn Vegan, Invisible Oranges, Hails & Horns, and tons more), promotes wicked records with Catharsis PR, and road dogs for your favorite bands. Keep up with her exploits & numerous band recommendations on Twitter, or peep her blog Ravishing Grimness.