Matterhorn - Crass Cleansing
Dying Victims Productions
Early Extreme Metal
10 songs (51' 2")
Release year: 2018
Reviewed by Andy

A love letter to homeland legend Celtic Frost appears in the form of Matterhorn's debut, which appeared a year ago but has now been remastered for distribution by the band's new label. Take a trio of young fans of Tom G. Warrior's early work, add some thrash stylings and gang shouts, and and you get Crass Cleansing: Not original by any means, but executed with enthusiasm.

Although the metal history books tell us of all the black and death metal bands that were inspired by Celtic Frost, there are millions of new bands repeatedly trying to clone 80s death or 90s black metal, and very few trying to reproduce the old Celtic Frost sound. This one does so to an often absurd extent: Primitive, thrash-style drumming gives way to swinging beats just like on To Mega Therion, and the nearly incomprehensible vocals (with vocalist Morbid doing his best Warrior impression) match the equally incomprehensible lyrics. The songs are, if anything, more chaotic than their influence's, because of the band's compulsion to switch riffs and shake things up before the song makes any sense to the listener. Of All I Was shows some promise; by this time, the supply of To Mega Therion riffs and Warrior-ish "ugh!"s are almost exhausted and the band has to try out some fast-chugging riffs of their own. The Hornhead also is cleverly done, and while still heavily Frost-influenced, didn't leave me with the impression that I could identify the album, song, and track position that it was derived from as some of the others did.

The version released this year also includes two new tracks: Bydying and Clarity, which get the band a little further out of the Frost shadow, adding a lot of blackness to the atmosphere. Clarity is more of a mixed bag than the comparatively neat and consistent Bydying. I liked some of the riffing on Clarity, and the chaos works well to its advantage. Although the ten-minute length overstays its welcome, one key ingredient Matterhorn has is the ability to produce a lot of noisy action in a very short time; early hardcore punk and thrash elements pop up every once in a while in the songs when they're not channelling Celtic Frost, and heaviness covers a lot of sins on an album like this.

The impression I get from the album is of a fairly new band that hasn't managed to find its own way just yet, but has the instrumental skill to excel if they do. The two new tracks are hopefully an indicator of better things to come.


Killing Songs :
The Hornhead, Bydying
Andy quoted 74 / 100
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