As far as demos go, the candidly-titled second sampling by Icelandic head-bangers GONE POSTAL, “Promo II,” is a three-song marriage of thumping, grooving Death and grinding, heavy-as-smog Black Metal. A hangnail under 12 minutes, these four manic youngsters unleash a relentless gut-blasting assault that is as memorable as it is promising.
The opener, “Meditated Torture,” manifests into a true monster as quickly as the track begins with wonderfully effective dual-guitars playing off each other as a roiling double-bass drive sets the demo in motion. Succeeding the enraged start, the band displays their skill with tempo change by slowing it down into Black/Doom territory before jumping back into another striking chug-fest.
Like the first track, “One Kill Towards Progression” hooks you through the cheek with its pounding introductory rhythms, proceeds to reel you in with some Deathly Thrashing, and then beats you over the head with a series of capsizing blasts. Although the song may be a bit redundant in its structure, its refusal to be anything more than it is alternately imbues it with a refreshing simplicity and a sturdy-as-steel foundation.
“Promo II” concludes with “Morbid Days of Contempt;” perhaps the most progressive of the three tracks, it also carries with it the same recurring groove and an increased focus on that miserably bad-ass Blackened Death. At about three-quarters through, and behind the omnipresent pounding of inexorable bass drumming, the song features a stark atmospheric quality that capably brings the demo to an ominous end.
Instrumentally, “Promo II” is exceedingly impressive and excels in part to a triumphant production job. My lone gripe, and this is of course significant considering the brevity of the demo, is the album’s vocals. Death(core) roars share center stage with Black screeching, and while neither are truly poorly done, they are simply not on par with the surrounding instrumentation. Hardly a deterrent for such a compact and imposing release, the vocals are simply dull edges that need further sharpening.
Alongside SEVERED CROTCH, GONE POSTAL is yet another extremely young and talented Icelandic Death Metal band.
(Online June 1, 2011)