Review: Distillator “Summoning the Malicious” [Empire Records]

Review: Distillator “Summoning the Malicious” [Empire Records]

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Raging out from the Netherlands comes the thrash act Distillator, a speed-focused project that took formation back in 2013. They’ve dropped two full-lengths and a split since then, the latest full-length hitting in 2017 titled Summoning The Malicious. It won’t take long to gather that their shtick focuses on technological and government advancement, and the destructive outcome of both. Song titles like “Algorithmic Citizenship” or “Mechanized Existence” should give that away.

For the most part, Summoning The Malicious is rather one-sided, casting out speed-riffs one after another, followed with solos that are clear and catchy. All the while, the darker undertone is never lost for the short run of time. The nicest touch is the sturdiness of strong production that allows a nasty snarl from the guitars while letting the bass pop out at the perfect surface level.

So it should go without saying that the standout tracks are the ones that break structure the most. “Estates Of The Realm” is a slower tune that aims for melody in the verses, and boasts some later era Exumer vibes. Breaking the traditional mold by avoiding the chorus-verse structure and riding out smoothly is important here. Deeper into the record, you get the similar “The King Of Kings,” recalling the slower vibes but pushing longer, doomier attacks. There’s all sorts of march-like feelings, complete with masterful layering and build-ups with wailing guitars. The main hook here is incredible.

Everything else is purely thrash driven. This does easily allow generic slip ups, like the glaringly predictable “Enter The Void.” “Stature Of Liberty” feels the most webbed, and while it drives hard, the repetitiveness acts like one giant riff. The breakneck speed and explosive outro could have made for a solid closer, though. None of it’s bad, a lot of the other thrashers are solid. The title track in particular has an incredible intro, riding in on terror-driven bass crawls with looping leads that burst into an incredible riff attack. The pulsating bumps capture the feeling of extreme stress beautifully.

What’s nice is that Distillator managed to keep everything brief enough to where it doesn’t get boring, which is the best way to pull off something one-sided. It also helps that there were a few twists in there. Anybody who is passionate about the thrash metal style should check this out, as it’s a solid disc that leaves room for more improvement down the road.

Release date: May 1st, 2017

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