Saturday, November 17, 2007

Down From the Wound - Agony Through Rituals of Self Purification - 2007 - Sevared Records

Here is a record I have been waiting for for a long, long time. If you recall, we did an interview with this promising new band a while back and that only whet my appetite. After the minor inconvenience of having to type all the song titles into iTunes (the joys of underground music :\) I began my listening in earnest.

Just like my virgin listen to Cranial Impalement, a giant grin crept on my face as soon as the first note hit and didn't fade until the last song was over. Holy shit this album is good. Better than even I expected. God damn it this is good. 'Ok we get it, it's good' you say, 'but what does it sound like?'

First thing I'll mention is the drumming. It truly is superb. The blast beats are heavy as hell and the drum sound is pretty natural. The cymbal work is tasteful and skillfully done . Randyl also does fills very well which is essential for this band.

The riffing here is great. You get your standard slams, but also some nice almost unique sounding ones. This is NOT just a Devourment clone. The blazing and incomprehensible blasts that usually fill the space in between the slams is set aside instead for fast, almost technical riffs. Another thing I really liked about the guitar work is the integration of pauses into the music to intensify the breakdowns, as well as give Randyl an opportunity to show off his talent. The production of the guitars is alright, nothing really noticeable either good or bad.

Tristan's vocals instantly reminded me of Ruban Rosas. They aren't quite as sick sounding, but he uses Ruben's style of 75% low gutturals and 25% high rees. Definitely above average. He also does a very nice vocal solo, which I always appreciate.

The songwriting here is very good as well, although some of the songs, especially the shorter ones can sound a little samey. This is slam death after all though, and it comes with the territory. The fact that Down From the Wound can write a really good 6 and a half minute song and a really good 2 minute song shows their strength as musicians.

Agony Through Rituals of Self Purification again is a superb album and should be a must buy for all slam fans. This really solidifies 2007's place as the best year for brutal death in recent memory. Show these Filipino boys some love and pick up this album!

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