In Dante’s Inferno, the second circle begins the proper punishment of Hell, a place where “no thing gleams.” It is reserved for those overcome with Lust, where carnal appetites hold sway over reason. In Nine Circles, it’s where we do shorter reviews of new (ish) albums that share a common theme.
Time files, but one thing remains constant: death metal will flow and I will apparently do a Second Circle around the middle to end of January. This time of year I’m usually still recuperating from EOY List syndrome, but ever since digging the Necrophagous album I reviewed a few weeks back I’ve been bitten by the death metal bug. So this one is a bit off the cuff: two new death metal EPs that I haven’t listened to yet. You’re getting this review fresh off the old brainpan. Let’s turn the volume up and do this.
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I don’t want to call it a revolution since it’s been going on for so long, but South America continues to be a hotbed of fantastic metal. Rotborn hail from Brazil, and this two-sing demo/EP is not only an immensely heavy blast of grade-A death metal, but it’s a tantalizing taste of what to come when they release their debut full-length later in the year. Genocidal Resolution takes the furious speed and aggression of bands like Krisiun and Immolation and brings a youthful urgency and attack. The opening title track immediately strikes with its drumming (the cymbal work is *chef’s kiss*) and stupid fast riff picking. Throw in a quick pinch harmonic, some frantic soloing about two minutes in and a complete lack of comprehension when it comes to slowing down and you have a clear classic in the making.
Second (and final) track “Rules of Manipulation” adheres closely to the rules of the first track: relentless drum and guitar attack, super tight rhythm playing, and an anger that shines through every guttural lyric. Rotborn definitely have more on their minds than simple gore and viscera, and the music complements that disaffected worldview perfectly. My only complaint is Genocidal Resolution is over within six minutes (eight if you add their earlier single released in late December), which means I have to wait for that full-length, dammit. Because this things has the goods.
Coming around the other side of the globe, both geographically and musically is Tormentor Tyrant, whose self-titled EP pays some heavy homage to bands like Deicide and Malevolent Creation. This is death metal that rises from the dead to feast on your innards with some gnarled, twisted riffing that accentuates the progressive dissonance of the early Floridian death metal as well as some of the more unique sounds that rose out of their native Finland.
You get a nasty breakdown in “Eternal Torment” that follows up with some of that tasty progressive death riffing where the concept of an “A” section followed by a “B” section is thrown out the window in favor of a dozen different riffs covered in the filth and muck of the swamp. The wheel may not be getting reinvented, but the riffing makes for copious head banging, and these guys (the band formed in 2020) have the sound of their influences down pat. Everything is encapsulated in final track “Galaxy-Wide Terror” and just like Rotborn, I really want to hear what a full length sounds like coming from these guys. The parts are all there, now let’s take them and create something that sounds like Tormentor Tyrant.
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Until next time, keep it heavy…keep it safe.