(Hellthrasher Productions, 2015)
Death Metal is a music style very dear to me, and has been part of my life ever since I heard “Scream Bloody Gore” in the very early nineties. Sometimes the style entertains me in that tongue-in-cheek kinda way, and sometimes I get truly spiritual sensations from it, performed for example by different “modern” bands like Necros Christos or Teitanblood, different in their unique styles but all sharing the morbid stench of Death.
Being also a huge fan of style like Thrash, Crust and Hardcore, it has been a pleasure to find bands in the recent years rising from the soil of especially the U.S, playing a fusion of very old-school Death and the above mentioned styles. Bands like Acephalix and more have made up a “scene” of their own in the San Fransisco area alone.
I’m not sure if the band agrees with me, but I’d like to place this Alabaman Death Metalists Ectovoid’s (formed in 2010) second full-length in that same category, meaning they perform a masterful “modern” blend of old-school Death and Thrash Metal, with elements of Doom and Black Metal as well.
What makes their choice of Death unique however, is in my opinion the way the riffs – tho mostly loyal to the style – are crafted, having some quite personal, “playful” even, elements to them. The guitars and basses are played with the demanded skills, and I am delighted by these more personal flavours in them, giving the band its individual stamp. The drums are performed with identical skill, perfectly accompanying the guitars and basses. The vocals are also quite original in their sound, being more like low shouting than actual growling, fitting the sounds of the other instruments perfectly.
The songs are full of typical banging parts loyal to the ancient styles, but the grooves of the songs often give me feelings of so much more than just strict Death Metal. There are very few “boring” parts on this album, as all the songs are arranged very imaginatively, switching naturally from traditional Deathly Thrashing beatings to Blackened blasts and slower parts. While not being by any means “technical” in nature, the songs have some more complex parts into them showing the skills of the band even further, while fitting the music nicely.
If you are into the classic albums of older bands like Death or Obituary, and/or the more recent stuff of bands like Vanhelgd, Funebrarum, Vastum, or Necros Christos, you simply must check this album out. A perfect example of the imaginativeness of ancient Death! This is one of those albums that makes a very strong impact on the first listen, but keeps getting better and better with each time you play it through.