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I always have the impression that if you asked most people about the first few countries they’d think of when you say “death metal”, the United Kingdom probably wouldn’t be at the top of the list most likely. But the UK has spawned many impressive, and at times groundbreaking acts in the past. Obviously there’s Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride, Katatonia and Anathema, some of the earliest pioneers of Death/Doom, who in my opinion epitomize their place of national origin. Then you have Napalm Death and Carcass, who not only pioneered Grindcore, but Death Grind as well, and even Melodic Death Metal in the case of Carcass. Then you have plenty of other influential bands, Bolt Thrower, Benediction, Cancer, and to this day you even have newer bands like Cruciamentum, Dyscarnate, Cryptic Shift, Strigoi (who I reviewed the most recent album of not too long ago) and so on. So I would definitely say that the UK definitely holds a lot of weight within the Death Metal scene internationally, more than they’re generally given credit for in my opinion. So you know where this is going- the UK is where the band we’re talking about comes from today, De Profundis– with their album The Corruption of Virtue released off of Transcending Obscurity Records.
From the very beginning of “Ritual Cannibalism”, it’s clear that they have a very heavy, beefy sound, but not without a hint of melody. The bass is very technical whenever it kicks in, which really gives off a latter era Death vibe, but maybe even Obscura or Beyond Creation as well- although the rest of the music isn’t what I’d describe as being technical, you do get some Progressive tendencies for sure, while still retaining its heaviness- and it can be quite catchy too- so it definitely has a unique sound. And as it comes to the tail end of the song with a shredding solo that, to me, just feels like a pleasant breeze. The vocals are growled as you’d expect, but they sound distinct to me- kind of in the same way that the growls of Travis Ryan, Nergal of Behemoth, Corpsegrinder or Piotr from Vader if I can think of a few from the top of my head- you’d be able to know who it is if you heard them, which is always something that I really like when I hear vocals in a Death Metal band, his personal tone just stands out. And of course, his really nasty sounding highs and aggressive delivery score points with me as well. So the first track starts off with a hell of a bang, and the second track just continues on with the explosiveness from there, because it just starts off with a very visceral, fast paced sound that just kind of makes you feel as if you’re being thrown around like a ragdoll. It’s also where I noticed how crisp the drums are and heard a few interesting fills here and there. What I really like already at this point though is how it has a really violent sounding Old School influenced sound, yet it also has all of these interesting Progressive elements; which especially shine through during the solos, there’s even a really off beat, but interesting sounding bass solo towards the end of that particular song as well- and it actually works out very well too. While unexpected, yes, it’s not jarring to me- and that tells me that this band really isn’t afraid to take risks.
It all seems like a simultaneous blast from the past, while also being kind of a breath of fresh air. The progressive elements fused into the sound definitely bring to mind some newer and classic progressive death bands, but at the same time it’s like the beefy, crunchy and pummeling sound seems to keep it a little grounded, not going too far into outer space and avoiding the pretension that can sometimes come with an overindulgence in complexity. The variations in the mood are stellar to me, because they frequently transition smoothly from grabbing you right by the jugular, to taking you into introspective and emotional melodic tones, and I really like how they’re able to balance that out as much as they do. I’d probably consider “Desecrating Innocence” to be the most technical track on the album, I’d consider that to lean much more towards the Technical Death Metal side of things, with a main riff that feels like a furious swarm of bees after somebody foolish enough to shake around their nest decides to disturb them, and that has to be one of my favorites. The solo in “Religious Cancer” is also incredible- which is saying quite a bit, because the solos throughout the entire track list are pretty incredible sounding. “Scapegoat” probably has some of the catchiest riffs in my opinion, and the main riff in that song… honestly makes me want to drop a little bit of a boogie if I’m being honest, and coming from me, I think that’s one of the best compliments I can give a Death Metal riff; and it’s usually rarer for me to hear riffs like that in stuff that leans more towards the progressive or technical side of things, probably because there’s too much going on most of the time. Then “The Sword Verses” I would say is probably the most melodic track on the album, to the point where I’d be as bold as to say that it would pass as Melodic Death Metal on its own.
The album as a whole genuinely impressed me though, I figured that going in I would just get your typical Death Metal, maybe something a little bit Old School, which I usually enjoy enough as it is, but what I got was something that took a little bit of a visceral, beefy and explosive style of Death Metal, and wrapped it up with, probably some of the finer elements of proggy, technical and a dash of the melodic styles and breathed a little bit of life into something unique. This is probably something I would give a 9/10 honestly, it really kind of won me over. If you like both meaty Death Metal as well as the more Progressive or Technically inclined Death Metal, you’d kind of get the best of both worlds with this one. If you want to pick yourself up a copy of the album, I’d check their labels shop, Transcending Obscurity, but you could also check their Bandcamp, or even Amazon would be a good bet. Until then, I wish you a great week!
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