Various Artists: CEMETERY FILTH (Tennessee/Georgia), ECTOVOID (Alabama), SABBATORY (Winnipeg, Canada) and TRENCHROT (Philadelphia)
4 Doors to Death
Unspeakable Axe Records
February 16, 2016
Reviewed by hutch
When this drops, Cemetery Filth will have been a band for two years. That is a short time for this l of destruction. And considering they split member from Atlanta and Tennessee, they have a synergy to be lauded. They have released one EP, Screams from the Catacombs, in their short journey. Now they birth three more tracks of savage, penury virility. They have moments of driving, fast tempos. But they also enjoy tempering their jagged-timed sound. Sections of mid-tempo or even off-time, dragging drums show a nod to Death and emphasize the depressing, morbid atmosphere.
These elaborate, and frequent, time changes exercise all that I love about death metal. They evade the trap of monotony. The production is thick and ominous in tone. Stellar performances mean that this young band has talent dripping from the members’ digits. Clean solos over foreboding riffs that linger like the guillotine convey adherence to a genre and individuality all in one. The five guys here encapsulate a varied, evil sound that will crush fans.
Hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, Ecotvoid deliver death metal in the coarsened vein of Obituary and Autopsy. They give us two tracks at over five minutes each. “Ash Primordial” has a few churning moments, writhing in a mid tempo gallop. The main body though pushes forward, fast as a whiplash. “Thoughts of Ancient Dread” opens with a slow pace, fluttering guitar lines lingering over a slow fog of down-tuned chords. Heavy, thick and dominating, Ectovoid’s tracks definitely burst into fast moments. Their strength is in the reticent, gigantic presence. This trio has provided fans with two full lengths. These two tracks lash out through the speakers. They harness a big sound. Ectovoid have mastered conjuring a true feel and tone in their songs, beyond just playing kick ass music.
Their first track, “Ascension to My Holy Tomb”, whips out of the gate, riding a grinding gallop. The riff twists as the drums push forward. The descending tight riffs herald a good old school feel. Other diabolical metal seeps into the sound here. Sabbatory, from the bracing cold of Winnipeg, share members with besieged. They have one full length released since their grotesque inception in 2011. The shred with chaotic speed, pulsating riffs guiding the way. Their two tracks are five and three minutes. Not one second of either track lets up in attitude or speed. The raw production, lending a live feel, taps into the early predecessors. Sabbatory’s influences probably encompass aspects of Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, Morbid Angel, Carcass, Dismember, Repulsion mixed with peers like Midnight, Nunslaughter and Asphyx; but none of which are an exact match. Sabbatory piss away expectations. This is stripped down, death-soaked speed metal. Killer shit here.
Coming out of Philly in 2012, Trenchrot lend their donations here with two original tracks and a Death cover. Their sound is not cut and dry. The vomitus vocals spew over tumultuous, heavy spasms laying the foundation. They finally form a groove in a slow chugging, about one fourth into the track. As with the other bands here, atmosphere is big. Trenchrot create the miasma of confusion in a cave. Listening feels like a soundtrack to abandoned trekkers, unwilling to continue. Then they push into a fast part, riding on double bass kicks. The swirling dual guitars cloud my headphones, sirens and screams complete the riotous feel of chaos.
“Powerful Kendarian Steel” is an anthem. This track is a beast. Again, this atmospheric goliath could provide the music for twisted regrets converging as you descend in madness. Guitars layered on top of rollicking, seizure drums and thick, crusty riffs merge to slowly roll out the last half of the track. The Death cover, Evil Dead, is what a cover should be. Great nod to the original with deciphering, personal twist executed well.