Friday, February 14, 2014

Dephosphorus : "Ravenous Solemnity"

I have really being hungry for new metal lately so I am forcing myself through this album despite the fact, my initial listens found me really turned off by the vocals, which at their bast remind me of Sodom, they are monotone bark, that never coughs up enough rasp to graduate into a full blown growl. The cool riffs don't make a song rule really hits these guys hard.

They have summoned up enough hype from the cool kids of the inner webs , who normally have at least smart taste in music, so my expectation were a little high on this one. A thrash vibe coats songs like "Dark on Dark" , but I can also hear ample hardcore influence, particularly on how these barks seem to be an after thought to the riffing, which sure is rapid and furious , but seldom carries enough hooks to balance out its punch.

Like bands such as Nails , these guys to smack you with enough heft to get your attention, keeping their songs brief like guerrilla warfare tactics, striking and then disappearing in the same blur they hit you with. This doesn't really strike me as black metal, though any black metal influence I did hear was on the first couple songs. They are rough , but the guitar lack any melody to really sell me on this. The vocals do change into an almost sung part at the end of "Astrocyte Portal" that makes me wish they had used some variance like this earlier in the album even if it is as brief as it is there.

At the rush three minute time most song clock in at they can cram quite a few jams in on this album, despite that the pacing makes many sound the same. The greek accents , remind me of the Portuguese accents of Sepultura, who is a good reference point as early Sepultura can be heard on "Storming the Sloan Wall".  Sure the guitar is fairly dexterous, but the need to give the songs some breathing room hit a desperate level when you get to the midway point. Like most bands with this much in your face intensity it only carries this album so far before the need for the finer points of song writing come into play.  

Their rough technical side married to the spastic nature of hardcore, it like a less metal version of Absu. They wisely slow down when the album comes upon the title track. There are other bands who at times they remind me of , like Craft , that I like , but some how most of the grooves that do surface on here don't gel with me or the blast back too soon. Its not until the last half of the album that it begins to utilize any variance or range of dynamics.

The drummer has to have some skills to pull this off , the blinding guitar riffs that fly pass like glass in a car crash are not shabby, but how its all woven together isn't showing me much more than a penchant for brutality, which is allowed to pass for some listeners. The punk influence here is more apparent than not , a song like "Hammer of Logic" really turns defining genre lines into counting straws.   Some of the more angular riffs work more for me than the sections of blasting in my face that end up sounding like white noise. By "Fountain of Daggers" I am like ...ok. we got it you can play fast, lets hear you write a song. The vocals do change into something that remind me more of Angkor Wat, the guitars don't get all too interesting beneath them. The vocals do begin to not come across as grating after a while.

The guitars do begin to hit some sonic spaces , but those are soon lost in the storm. What many might see as this bands strength can also become their weakness, they are un-relenting. The noise moniker gets thrown around in regard to this band and they are creating noise, it might not be the kind you are thinking of. They do hit a good groove on "Glorification of  the Anti-life Equation"/ The long annoying song titles actually are well suited for this album. They do touch on death metal moment more frequently than black metal moments, "Vicious Infinite Regress" is a good example of this.

" Blood Runs Red" closes the album out a more punk number, that feels like they are shedding the extra weight of riffage and finally getting around to doing what they have wanted to do for the entire album. it's clear to me as I anxiously await the album to be over ,that these guys aren't for me, the hit a few moments I like, but the total package of what they are is not what I want from metal. The rough show production, helps create the desire effect, but it would be interesting to hear what this would sound like with more separation in the mix.  I'll give this a 4.5 , if you like this sort of heavy handed riff chaos round it up a whole point.


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