From McAllen, Texas a brutal release has risen. SEVERANCE play a harsh and raw form of Death Metal with tight syncopations and intriguing guitar work. “Suffering In Humanity” appears quite rooted in the synchronicity of guitarist Ralph Gutierrez and drummer Jaime Perez, who stand as the only remaining original cast members of this 18-year old act. The bass lines and vocal efforts on “Suffering In Humanity” add little consequence to each track; however, the guitar work reigns supreme.
Familiar and well-explored roots (combined with some odd studio peculiarities) plague this release and detract from its overall impact. The strongest tracks lack innovation and nothing on the release separates the band from others in the Brutal Death camp. “Consumed” contains dozens of well-articulated and technical riffs, but these have become prerequisites for writing in the new millennia. The drum work follows Gutierrez through dropped tunings and abysmal passages, but what makes the recording interesting is its speed.
Gutierrez and Joe Dan de la Rosa pick with terminal velocity. Surviving the speed wars of the 80s has its perks, and in Death one can never play too fast. Goregiastic Records have two monsters on their hands. With proper backing and adequate studio production Ralph and Joe Dan could light a few pentagrams while running circles around the competition. Brutal Death Metal has never held a strong suit for lead work, and many leads on “Suffering In Humanity” could disappear unnoticed. A few intervals allow the lead work to overpower the rhythm track, which detracts from the band’s effective riffing style and draws unwanted attention to the band’s weaker suits. Every rhythm track on the release needs a volume boost to assist listeners in noting the band’s strengths without distraction or muddled production.
All in all SEVERANCE present a decent package with “Suffering In Humanity,” but nothing stellar. Most of the release will appeal to fans of old school Death Metal and those seeking new releases that pursue the same speedy clichés. Fortunately for me, I’m one of them. Those seeking something new or a more modern sound should click the back button and try another link.
(Online September 12, 2007)