Ok. Imagine a random bystander bound and gagged. This young man is being worked over by a dentist who employs a number of diverse torture techniques, ranging from the trusty drill to gum-carving scalpel work. Fucking sick, no? Now imagine this effect repeated several dozen times on various victims; just as goddamn grotesque and vicious yet a bit dull by the fifth go around.
Such is the major pitfall of this Mexican three-piece. There is quite a bit of technicality in the riffing and some of the rhythms blown through by drummer Oscar Garcia are downright brutal cluster-fucks of intense battery. However, when such riffing relies on one-dimensional tempos of fast or very fast things can tire quickly. Foul, you cry? Why yes, I am a huge proponent of blistering speed, my favorite album is “Darkness Descends” after all, but there is such a thing as context, dynamics and song structure. The particular axe-work found here is quite interesting but it does not slash my throat and rape my sister in the proverbial sense. The obtuse blasting tracks (“Tsita Ndte”, “Night Winds”) beget monotony a bit too quickly mainly due to less than stellar compositional skills.
When HACAVITZ truly break out of their stifling mold and rip your genitals from your body cavity is when they mix it up a bit and become a little less predictable. If one did not give “Venganza” a complete spin they could easily gloss over the Doom-tinged passages which bite like a venomous predator. While the band seems a bit more comfortable hurtling through songs faster than Chuck Yeager, the variety certainly compliments their performance and musicianship. “Old Rancor” is a relatively exceptional example as it begins with that slower portion highlighting the excellent riffs before escalating to the familiar blast beats and endless double bass passages.
There is also a bit of flavor in the band taking a certain amount of liberty in applying subtle Black Metal styling to their brand of Death Metal. Antimo Buonnano’s vocal approach is more of a Black Metal rasping and never even edges toward the realm of grunting. This style works well with the trebly guitar-tone and highlights the riff work, which is definitely a good thing. One could also praise the attempted inclusion of a bit of atmosphere in the ambient segways, consisting of light howling wind and faint screams/growls in the distance. However, no praise will be garnered from this reviewer as I find the over-indulgent and trite ambience to be tiring, dull and reminiscent of MORTICIAN’s over-used sampling. This would not be quite as annoying if it did not occur after every single track.
This is a solid project founded on technical riffing and prominent guitar-work, this I can applaud. As a debut, “Venganza” fares pretty well and certainly is a cut above the average Death Metal album. Unfortunately, the technical riffing is backed by merely mediocre songwriting and is unable to truly take off or inspire even a dull air of ingenuity to lift this band into a realm of actual memorability. I will recommend this if you are in need of fast and brutal Death Metal, but keep in mind there is much better out there. (Online April 13, 2006)