Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ezophagothomia - Instinct of Inhuman Devourment (Inherited Suffering; 2011)

Quiet...too quiet. Rising to your feet, your eyes clouded but your head growing somewhat clearer every moment, you grasp clumsily at the ground; grabbing a shoddy, splintered wooden plank to your immediate left, you take an impulsive, instinctual defensive stance and begin to wonder why you're here. What happened? Why is everything so dark, ominous...the gloom; it's almost suffocating. From every direction, you hear tortured cries. They seem to yearn for something, most likely your blood. You need to get Which way is out, though?

Dim sirens sound in the distance, their failing horns seeming to twist and degrade before they hit your ears. Fire, everywhere. Intense heat, a disgusting stench and mangled bodies all around your feet, down every street and alley, hanging out every window and fallen to their charred, excoriated knees outside every doorstep, arranged in catatonic patterns, every one bearing marks of brutal defilement. How did you survive? Are you even alive?

Ezophagothomia are a Ukrainian band operating in the field of extreme percussive slam, each slam twisting quickly about a tightly-coiled center, always about to strike forth with deadly precision. Their riff-writing is excessively bludgeoning as evidenced in the very first real song after an atmospheric introduction (which was the inspiration for the above little intro of my own to this very review) which takes a neurotic riff to a straightforward, logical progression with interesting ways of filling in dead drum space. Quickly discarded, the shed corpse of that riff continues on as a shambling zombie in the form of the next slam which quickly reanimates unpredictably and charges the song into a blastbeat-ridden assault.

Ezo aren't content on this album to merely let you suffer, but to drag out the suffering sadistically so that you beg for more. In a sense, it is similar to how Abominable Putridity worked on their debut, but it's a bit more different between tracks. Ezo plans some truly nefarious things on this album; the very first aforementioned track has a descending slam that almost reaches funeral slam levels but which ends abruptly and becomes a Gorevent-esque charge ahead, building and adding on different drum techniques with every iteration of the main slam. Carrying on, it morphs and becomes something worthy of specific examination.

"Petrified in Ancients Megaliths" literally feels like a petrification in progress with its sharply diminishing slams and slow, viscous way of dealing with riff changes. Vocals are a tar-thick growl tinged with a slightly burpy style, but they are somewhat neutral in the sound space and don't really stand out. A simple and effective main riff carries this song between breakdowns with off-time crash cymbal use and a great open-chord blast to round it out each time. This is definitely the soundtrack to an urban zombie apocalypse; each numb, brainless wretch dragging you slowly but surely down, crushing you under the combined weight of each vacant, empty body at once.

Next we deal with a hidden threat, a creature under the disfigured surface whose only desire is bloodshed; specifically, yours. Perhaps under that manhole...or that one, further down the western alley beyond the abandoned, gutted liquor shop. Yes, that one; can't you hear the guttural elucidations of those walking dead under the streets? Lurching, sewage-choked slams around every corner, unfortunately-clicky kick drums arranged in surprisingly interesting patterns, never seeming to use the same strategy twice, and those horrible, horrible sounds from below. "When Earth Will Be Tired of Us", despite the silly name, is a powerful track with its familiar stagger, the way it seems to save energy for that final slam that seems to delay forever, while in the meantime you don't even realize how much you're being brutalized by the sights and sounds before your eyes. Approaching those police cars you heard before, you realize it was not your imagination. Their blue, revolving lights are slowing down, their piercing sounds becoming a distorted, fading whine like some kind of hellish, taunting choir of demons, which are undoubtedly behind you this moment. The slams are catching up to you, picking up pace and alternately slowing down with a definite human instinct. Run. Don't stop; run.

Not fast enough. All hell breaks loose as every sound around you stops and you can hear in your head a somewhat familiar must be imagining it. An acoustic guitar? How can you hear it above the localized apocalypse playing out before your very eyes? As soon as you think about it, it's gone, and so are the sounds of your pursuers and of those below, and of those down every lateral passage, and of the white thunder striking maddeningly over the red sky.

Crevasses are opening up in the ground around you and you fall to your bloodied knees, suffering mentally and physically; parched, starving, tired, perhaps even going insane if that familiar sound was any indication. No, you're not insane. This might also be familiar, though, especially if you're familiar with any underground USDM, a Mortal Decay cover track, which is actually better than the original in several ways; Ezo makes this track their own, from the undoubtedly unique transitions to the way the vocals stay one-dimensional and on-point even during the oncoming breakdown crush. Finally, you've been caught. They've found you; closing in on you, they pin you down.

It seems there's a leader, perhaps of this specific pack; donning a razor blade dipped in what looks to be sulfuric acid and clothed in bloodied hospital scrubs, it calls the others to strap you down. Injecting you with a lethal parasite, the slams coincide with your demise in a horrible symphony of pain and suffering. It feels euphoric, your skin rupturing and spewing out all manner of bodily fluids, finally allowing you to give in to this horrific, grotesque wasteland. Looking to your left, you hear those familiar crashing riffs and drums from all angles, piling up and crashing down on top of you, beating you further and further still into that cold yet burning ground.

Hacked into pieces but kept alive through nefarious, otherworldly technology, you immediately notice you've been reanimated as one of them. Right before you black out again, you get a second wind, about to rise to your feet to seek out're weak now. You have much to learn. Calm down. You have an eternity to hunt them. Slay them. Take back our world. We are allies now.

And then, silence.



Sam K said...

This is quite a review. I'll have to make sure to check this one out!

Anonymous said...

Agreed, awesome review. Made me run over to Comatose and ordered it right away. Keep up the good work guys.

Andy Phelps said...

Thanks guys! Keep reading S-M!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, man, this review is good as hell.