Review: Virtual Annihilation / Postmortem Repugnance

Review: Virtual Annihilation / Postmortem Repugnance

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Think along the lines of maybe, say, Napalm Death (Diatribes) and Cattle Decapitation‘s (To Serve Man), and you have what are probably the two finest death metal/grindcore/thrash bands in the Atlanta-based area… Postmortem Repugnance and Virtual Annihilation. I live not too far off from these guys, and was made aware of Postmortem Repugnance, through one of the band members, last year. The other band that is on this split album that I am about to review, Virtual Annihilation, I only was aware of them as of the other week. While I had already listened to Postmortem Repugnance, today I am listening to Virtual Annihilation for the first time; and I have to say, they really wow’d me, at the very start. Usually with splits, I am quite wary… as more often than not, I will love one band, but cannot stand the other. Postmortem Annihilation, the title of this album… well, this album is colossally different.

“Paranoi-America” is the first track off the album, and Goddamn it hits you with such brutal force. These guys waste absolutely no time in wanting to crush you with their sound! When I first listened to this song, I kept on thinking of another song… I am very highly reminded of the track “Dominate”, by Morbid Angel. The rhythmic melodies of the guitar are very reminiscent of that. Almost to perfection… however, not at all copying. Just reminiscent. Ty Peacock does both the guitars and bass for the band, and his talent is most impressive with both aspects on this song. Exceptionally impressive! The bass is really heavy-weighted here. I have stated in previous reviews that usually I cannot hear bass, rarely ever. So, when I do hear it, I must make a mention of that. Jeret McMurray is the vocalist, and he is, to a great extent, well-versed in singing of this particular style. One might think a more well-known band when listening to this guy, as how he executes that guttural-style of growl-like singing, sounds immensely on par to, say, any of the other three bigger band names mentioned in this review. Really, he is that fucking good! Tyler Peacock is the drummer, and he seems to be just as well-seasoned as his bandmates. He plays with such dominate conviction, you can feel it shatter right through you, to your very core. Especially towards the very end. Goddamn, this track is so, so good, and without a doubt, my favorite from them off of this album.

Both bands on this split contribute three songs each to the album, with most of the songs being extremely short. “Echoes of Hate” is their shortest song, just barely over 2 minutes. But, as with their first track… their relentless brutality just doesn’t let up. Not even for a single second. Vocals maintain that same, pushed force. The drumming is just as pounding. But, this one part… towards the very few last seconds… the riffs are epically stunning! And, I am not using that word “epically” lightly. Absolutely, stunningly gorgeous, those riffs!

“Trans-Humanism” is the last track from these guys, and is the longest song on the entire album. The riffs are so prolifically grinding, on this one. Extremely so! I love this one so much, due to that. This one has so much melody to it, not to mention loads of thrash elements all over the place! Think late 80s Exodus, or maybe Slayer. That kind of heavy thrashing. The singing, riffing, drumming… this song… As much as I love the first two songs, this one just exceeds everything else, two-fold. A legend in the making, these guys… I think.

Postmortem Repugnance… oh, these guys are so, so good. As I had stated earlier, I was aware of this band first; although I had never heard a single thing from them until not too long ago. As I had listened to their side, I fell so hard in love with them. I hold these guys up as high as well to (as I have mentioned bands like Cattle Decapitation, and Napalm Death) as solidified masters of the death metal/grindcore genre. Postmortem Repugnance, maybe just be a bit better… slightly… maybe. Jason Miller’s vocals, such intensified passion, such violent force. That guttural style of singing, when done right, I truly love it so. And, Jason executes that excessively well. Josh Johnson is both the bassist, and the guitarist for the band. And, just fuck… his style of riffing is so mesmerizing, haunting and chilling as hell… so crisp and sharp, and so precise. And, Goddamn… his riff-grinding is… quite honestly, some of the best that I have ever heard, from any band; as a matter of fact. Kenneth Johnson is on drums, and adds his own unique texture to the line-up. Very direct, and uncompromising pounding. Damn, this guy’s good. “Zombie Swarm”, one epic as hell track, so addictive, heavily repeated and very memorable.

“Born To Battle, Born To Die”… assuredly, my absolute, most favorite track off the entire album. The riffs on this one… hell, so powerfully atmospheric, as well as being so melodically catchy… Josh really knows how to fully captivate the listener. Completely entrancing, on a whole other level. Truly, some of the most beautiful guitar work that you will ever hear… I need more of this! I love this song, more than I am able to express so, of it. Jason’s vocals just keep on, not ever letting up, completely smashing right through your soul. Crushing it, with it being so hard to recover from. Kenneth adds so much aggressiveness to his already hard-hitting playing style of the drums. This track totally surpasses all of this particular style(s) of music. Totally relentless… take no prisoners, kind of deal. This song… just fuck. It’s everything, on this album.

Ending the album is the track “Grievous Bodily Harm”. And, boy, do these guys want to make sure that you are completely destroyed after listening to Postmortem Annihilation. Like totally pummeled to the ground, “destroyed”. I mean, the title… and, how this song presents itself as you’re listening. Oh, you will be decimated, alright. No question about that. If you were to combine all the passion and elements from their first two songs, “Grievous Bodily Harm” is that given result. As it’s appropriately self-titled, you will feel that, upon listening.

Production of this album is top-notch. This is something that I usually, as well, very rarely mention. But, it is so clean and crisp; I just have to mention this aspect of it, as well. Virtual Annihilation have been around for a good, few years; having both a demo and an EP released well before this split. They surfaced around 2017 with their demo effort. Postmortem Repugnance on the other hand, while forming some time later in 2019, have only released this split. Although more songs have been written, only three made it onto this split release. Without having an actual release to speak of, Postmortem Repugnance started playing live in late 2020. Jason (vocalist) joined the band earlier, last year.

If you love any of the genres mentioned throughout this review, I think with all honesty that you will heavily enjoy this album. Massively, in fact. I highly recommend grabbing a copy of the CD. Top-notch death metal/grindcore at its finest… these two bands. I do love both bands, respectively so. And, one day, I’ve just got to go and see both of them perform live. You need to get this album, and then listen to it! I can promise you that it won’t disappoint.

Release date: August 17th, 2021

https://www.facebook.com/virtualxannihilation/
https://www.facebook.com/PostmortemRepugnanceDeathMetal/

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