25 Jan 2022 - Knut
Death Metal | Invictus Productions | Release date: 28 Jan 2022
True to their roots in classic Death Metal, the Swiss Deathcult releases an album with crushing riffs, tight rhythm sections and intense growling death metal vocals. Just as frenzied, in a controlled way, as this kind of music should be. Their inspiration from Swedish Death Metal of the 90s is obvious, but they have their own distinct musical style and blend it with Black Metal and with some nods to Trash Metal. This mix makes it a riveting listen and makes you long for those tumultuous, sweaty gigs that we have been missing these past two years.
Initially Deathcult was a one-man project incepted in 2010 by drummer N. Goathammer but evolved into a full band in the years after. At the same time they were behind Chaos Ritval, concert organizer and a festival organizer for the festival of the same name. In 2015, the band released their first full length, a crushing Death Metal album where the sound could have been a bit better. On this new release the sound is clear cut and gives full justice to the impressive arrangements of each track where everything is about giving the music traction to go full speed ahead.
The first song,”Iron Beclawed Rules The Divine”, serves as a short prologue for what is to come with sound effects including a church bell followed by heavy guitar riffing, high pitched guitar solo, growling vocals and a very solid rhythm section. And we are ready for the follow-up, ”On Primal Wings”, where the heavy distorted riffing introduces a melodic theme over the compact rhythm section before the cymbals indicate a shift to faster tempo with blast drums. One notices there are more than one growling vocals as the music pummels full speed ahead. A tremolo guitar lifts the sonics a bit, soaring over the heavy music until the pace goes slower and the low pitched repetitive distorted guitar makes a transition to a slower and heavier end of the track infused by a high-pitched solo guitar.
There is no pause before the onslaught by the next track,”Doxology And Putrescence”, which indicates that on this album there will be no pause, not a dull moment as the music races forward. But these are masters of Death Metal, even with fast pacing songs and a compact rhythm section the music is varied and gives us time to take a breath - it is like reading a page turner thriller book with cliffhangers at the end of every paragraph.
This is evident in the next song ”Trepanation Rites”where the riff based music bolts toward a slower section at which point the low tuned guitar takes some pause before the riveting end of the song. ”Black Vapour Coagulation” starts a bit slower with heavy melodic riffs and a hard hitting bass drum before the distorted tremolo guitar lifts the sonics towards the vocal and rapid rhythm section. After a section of chugging the sonics are then lifted up to a swirling guitar solo that slow down the pace a bit before racing forward again towards an ending with desperate screams accompanied by a guitar solo and the song ends in clean low-pitched guitar.
”Swine Of Oblivion” and ”Funeral Trance” continue in with the same fast, intense and energetic tempo, varied by pace, heavy riffing, compact rhythm section and soaring guitar solos; high pitched with the whammy bar in frequent use throughout. Sometimes it is so fast and dense that the music threatens to collapse in on itself. They take no prisoners, and the band finishes the whole potent ride through the Death Metal sonics with ”Alastor” which is a nice homage to the Overlord in the Hazbin Hotel, the one called Radio Demon among the other demons in the series. This might be the most varied song on the album. Never losing its focus, it sways through different ways to play Death Metal accompanied sometimes by the church bell from the first song. It ends in some low paced distorted riffing. And as an afterthought, in fades a roughly played short piece of guitar work.
There are almost no sound effects during the 50 minutes tour de force that this album is, just a couple of minutes at the most. No echo effects, no electronic devices - just pure, honest Death Metal with inspiration and soundbites from the nearby genres. And also, with nods to the giants who started and refined what became heavy metal with its hundreds of sub-genres. Really a fresh and raw start to 2022!