Space. The final frontier. That’s what they say, but Portugal’s Analepsy kickstarted their career with an album that told of mass destruction of the solar system’s inhabitants and on Quiescence, the cosmos is empty and awaiting its demise. So it would seem that ‘final’ is a loose term and that more stories are yet to be told. Later discussion, to be sure. One thing is for certain, in the here and now, Analepsy’s brand of slamming brutal death metal is not your typical paint by numbers fare as they weave classic strains of death metal with more current sounding melodic yet brutal flair. And if the subject matter is on the grand scope of crushing the cosmos, it better be something to match that scale.
The band’s debut Atrocities From Beyond was the kind of outing that while not wholly unique or a genre pusher, it was incredibly executed and with an incredible production job. That album’s low end had enough blast beats and melodic fills that it would make a professional square dancer walk off the job and in the guitar section it’s all ravaging riffs, preposterously good pinch harmonics, and well timed, damn near angelic solos reminiscent of Azazgthoth fame. Elsewhere, the vocals sound like they were run through the wood chipper a time or two with gurgling growls and piercing pig squeals, but contextually very fitting. Yes, the breakdowns are there but not overbearing as is most often the case. It seemed like the perfect marriage of 90’s NY death metal and modern brutality since, unlike other outings from the genre, this effort actually focused on shredding guitar work, blasts, AND well placed breakdowns in lieu of just the breakdowns with some solos and blasts as an afterthought. Through all that, the feel, sound and texture made it the perfect soundtrack to mass destruction of the big wide open’s inhabitants and one that’s endured a five year run since its release.
Now that life has been wiped out of the way and all that’s left are the planets, black holes and stars, Quiescence comes in to signal the end of it all. Opener “Locus of Dawning” wastes no time with wild pinch harmonics, ripping solos, and a methodical yet melodic low end. Amazing to me, this early in the album, is how fast the band exude a higher level of songwriting and how much they’ve progressed in skill over the past five years. It’s not like this is entirely different from the debut, I mean, we’re still talking about slamming brutal death metal and they’re still the same band, but just 1000% better. Next track “Impending Subversion” goes even further down the spiral throwing everything in their arsenal wildly about, yet it’s still cohesive and a damn fun listen. Later, “Converse Condition” employs the almighty breakdowns and swirling riffs that emulate the power of a hurricane when colliding with a population. It’s pure destruction set to tape. “Edge of Chaos” makes my early favorite pick though, with a dark and moody intro that transitions into full on melodic death metal earmarked with some of the band’s finest performances, finest solos, and they do all this without ever losing their true identity.
As if all that weren’t enough, their choice of guest appearances is like a who’s who in all things brutal and extreme; Ricky Myers of Suffocation and Disgorge, Angel Ochoa of Abominable Putridity and Condemned (to name a few), and Wilson Ng of Facelift Deformation and Vermicular Incubation. Now, I can see your face and a couple of those bands are recognizable and the others maybe not so much, but now you’ve got some studying to do. What you’ll find are absolute dominators of their craft and then it will not only make sense why they’re here, but also makes their contributions over the course of three different songs even more memorable. And that’s the thing about Quiescence, it’s memorable and maybe even more so than their debut. Time will tell, of course, as it always does. However, the fact that five years hasn’t faded the impact of Atrocities From Beyond and Quiescence is an all around better executed album, speaks volumes.
Again, Analepsy has created the perfect soundtrack to their intended target of impending destruction of the cosmos. It’s darker, exudes a chaotic atmosphere that aligns with planets floating around unsure of their fate, and is grander in feel than their previous work. For those that aren’t typically fans of slam and brutal death metal, you won’t find an album that intertwines the two better than this. Or an album that doesn’t rely on just the breakdowns or just the blasts or just the pig squeals and rather chooses to highlight and focus on bringing out the best of all these components like this one does. I don’t know what my play count on this thing is at this point, but I tried to find something to pick on or something I didn’t quite like and failed, every time. No matter which direction they go across these ten tracks they do it with aplomb. Now, to find the opportune spot to fold out a chair, grab a beer, and watch the cosmos implode.
Quiescence will be available on CD and digital formats April 15 via Vomit Your Shirt and Miasma Records and on vinyl format May 27 via Agonia Records. For more information on Analepsy, visit their official website.