If, by the end of this year, another album is released that packs as heavy and as groovy a kick-to-the-head as UNDERGANG’s “Indhentet af Døden,” clearly, I’d be goddamn floored with disbelief. (This is an exaggeration - heaviness is subjective, but goddamn if this isn't near the top!)
Copenhagen’s UNDERGANG play a freakish type Old School Death Metal, Grind, Sludge hybrid one would expect to find nestled in the back of a tattered circus tent. Your curiosity forces you to inch closer, but by the time you realize your mistake, it’s far too late. The UNDERGANG beast has awoken, and in quite a gruesome display of carnal lust and long-dormant aggression, it bursts upon you in an explosion of fury and pummeling overhands. Running and hiding is futile. Your ass belongs to the UNDERGANG.
For a debut LP, “Indhentet af Døden” is quite the trip. The modest production doesn’t want things shining in luminescence; it wants you gasping, struggling to find a way out. The album’s down-tuned thickness is overwhelming and it never lets up. The bass is an omnipresent villain.
The band’s three members all have roots entrenched in the Danish Hardcore Punk scene, so aside from the music, also impressively managed is the seamless transmutation the band has forged into a grueling Death Metal outfit. The quickened Core pace is heard every so often, but the album never relies on it. If anything, the Punk background serves as an invaluable cornerstone that allows UNDERGANG to focus and mediate their angst. The result, undeniably, is a mammoth sound of various tempos (Doom to Death), thought-out song structures, and, oh yes, uber fucking brutality.
According to their Myspace page, UNDERGANG are inspired and or influenced by bands like AUTOPSY, SUFFOCATION, CARCASS, WINTER, MASTER, BLOOD, KAAMOS, DEATH, IMPETIGO, INNARDS, CREMATORY, MORBID ANGEL, PUNGENT STENCH, and CANNIBAL CORPSE, among many others. And it’s heard.
Super-low growls, tremendous, ground-trembling drum fills, preternatural guitar crunch, and vertigo-inducing bass flow combine for one of the most raw and effective slabs of unremorseful Death Metal of the year. It also helps that the album cover artwork is fuckin’ awesome.
Killer tracks: All of the above. Personal favorite is "Opslugt Af Mørket."
(Online November 16, 2010)