Review: DEPRAVATION “III:Odor Mortis” [Lifeforce Records]

Review: DEPRAVATION “III:Odor Mortis” [Lifeforce Records]

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With a crushing sound spawned straight from the bowels of hell, Germany’s Depravation return with an album filled to the brim with Metal mayhem. Taking influence from hardcore, crust punk, and sludge, III: Odor Mortis promises to crack skulls and rupture eardrums.

Depravation‘s sound is a simplistic mix of hardcore and black metal, combined with the noise influence of modern sludge. While not overly complicated or refined, this makes for a very concise audio experience. It is everything it needs to be and nothing more. Certainly nothing less. However you look at it, Depravation craft an exacting monument to aggression and pain. And how there is pain in this music.

It is very easy for a band to throw down a ferociously heavy speed track with nothing of substance behind it. This is not the case with Odor Mortis. This is angry music, but it is of a righteous anger. There is pain here, there is sorrow. The aggression is a response to all of this. In the album’s slower moments it becomes painfully clear that these demonic cries are anguished more than evil. There is hatred, but it is well earned.

On the musical side of things, Odor Mortis relies heavily on a speedy hardcore sound. The guitars are crushingly heavy and drums fast paced and pounding. There are moments of levity where the emotional toll of the album shine through the most, with mournful picking replacing the rapid fire chug of the guitars. These moments I found to be especially touching. Songs like the instrumental Sickness create a deep emotional connection with the listener through a wide range of styles. A spoken word sample accompanies the solemn music before the track erupts into a torrent of black metal destruction. It’s not easy to emote through black metal, but Depravation does so here with expert precision.

Other standout tracks include album opener Casting Fear, with its relentless blackened hardcore assault. Rolling double kick drums form the backdrop for black metal style riffing, while vocals attack the listener with their solemn anger. The slogged down sludge of The Endless Night provides a great contrasting sound to the typical beatdown that the album has given henceforth. The hardcore madness that forms the core of Amboss makes this the highlight of the album for me. Full of crusty goodness, the hadcore and black metal influences come together here in perfect harmony.

On Odor Mortis, Depravation show us a very full picture that is often left incomplete in the metal genre. There is anger and there is aggression, but before that is pain and sorrow. Depravation show us both sides of this coin with their expressive style, letting the listener in and forming a deep emotional connection.  This is one to hear for sure.

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Peter Morsellino

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