Altarage - MMXV
Iron Bonehead Productions
Death metal
2 songs (10:23)
Release year: 2015
Reviewed by Charles
Here is a very ominous two-track EP from Altarage, a new Spanish band, albeit one which apparently contains “musicians with veteran status in the metal underground” (according to the coquettishly uninformative press release). It is impressive. The sound is based around painfully dense and oppressive death metal riffs, which boom and rumble in the manner of recent luminaries such as Altars, Bolzer, Diocletian and the like, but much danker in tone, and with significantly less breathing space (certainly compared to the former two). No flashy melodic riffs or Eastern influences here, or indeed any lead guitar parts to speak of. Just monochrome punishment. The vocals are the main trademark: a sort of decayed machine-like wail of despair which always sounds like it being torturously submerged in the damp fog of the guitars.

First track Altars begins with this weirdly misshapen slow riff, accompanied by a clanking drum beat- a characteristically gloomy idea which resurfaces throughout, but which dissipates into this fast and dense exhalation of linear death metal riffing. The griminess of the sound makes the exact shape of these lines hard to discern and internalise sometimes- it is not a catchy record. Second track Vortex Pyramid pursues a similar course, but is given an extra sense of otherworldliness by the weird, buzzing scratchy feedback that submerges the sound at the climax. Dreading the album, in a good way.

Killing Songs :
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