I have died and gone to Death Metal heaven (or hell, if you prefer)!! I’ll be goddamned if this isn’t some of the best Death Metal I’ve heard in ages! These Welsh death mongers have truly outdone themselves with “Process Of Decay”, an album I have no problem declaring a masterpiece of Brutal Death Metal. This was originally released back in ’05 but thanks to Epitomite Productions it is now available Stateside.
Quick band recap for the uninitiated: band formed back in 1992 in Wales and this is their sixth full-length (in addition to a string of demos as well as a live album). Their ’95 release “Gore And Perversion” courted controversy due to its “indecent and obscene” content and the band’s bio states that the local Gwent Constabulary “seized and incinerated” copies of said album. It sounds funny as hell and definitely warrants interest in the band, if you ask me!. By the way, the band’s vocalist/guitarist Ollie Jones is a practicing mortician so you can rest assured that the band’s lyrical themes are based on an intimate know-how of human anatomy and not the rants of some hack shamelessly pilfering the contents of medical handbooks. These guys talk the talk and more than walks the walk!
I remember being rather disappointed by the lackadaisical approach of their previous effort (2002’s “Pathway To Deviance”), so I didn’t expect too much from this one. I couldn’t have been more wrong in my misgivings, as “Process Of Decay” is a powerhouse album chock full of crushing riffs, heavy-as-fuck breaks, and gore-tastic vocal work. This is a concept album that deals, in grotesque detail, with the process of decay (big surprise…). So you see, this is literally (and medically…) a true Death Metal album. They key to this album’s awesomeness is that the band managed to perfectly harness the power of the RIFF in all its deadly glory. This album has one of the best and most potent guitar-tones since the infamous “buzz saw” sound that acts like ENTOMBED and DISMEMBER popularized in the early 90s – these riffs slice, dice, mince, bludgeon, ground, and shred all at once my friends!! Prepare for Death Metal of the most brutal kind!
The brutal yet insanely catchy opener starts things off and kicks the album into an overdrive that doesn’t let up till the very last, bloody second. “Initial Decay” opens up with an extended and 200% moshpit-inducing riff section and I now declare this a classic Death metal song! But that’s only the start of it: “Bacterial Breakdown” has a killer shouted chorus, while “Butyric Fermentation” is way more technical in nature with an array of tempo changes as well as guest vocals from AMPUTATED’s throat abuser. Goddam this is excellent!!! You really cannot listen to this and not be utterly impressed! “Maggots In Evidence” even breaks out some furious Thrash riffing, and by this point I was totally sold. “Corpse Fauna” continues the memorable riffing, and some Doomy melodies even show up in the last two songs for good measure. The riffing is top-notch, the drumming is super fast and the vocals are well balanced. Al this adds up to an album that is completely void of filler. I wish I could say the same of more bands in this Brutal Death Metal subgenre…
OK, the band sticks rather rigidly to the Brutal Death Metal template but the overabundance of superior riffs and the keen sense of balance on display here ensure that this is miles away from your usual dumbed-down run-of-the-mill Death Metal. It’s only about 28 minutes long but that’s all the band needed to drive their point home (and through your skull). I am not known for bestowing high scores on albums in this field but fuck it – DESECRATION ist krieg!!! Laugh all you want, but this album is top of the line Death Metal mastery!
With “Process Of Decay” these Welshmen have set a new standard for Brutal Death Metal and I invite any band to try and topple them.
(Online June 3, 2007)