Album: Oculus Rot
Label: Brutal Mind
Release Date: 14/02/2021
The band hail from Rotterdam, Netherlands and play a groovy, yet technical brand of brutal death metal with some slam influences. In some ways this is a continuation of Pyaemia, in that three of the band’s four members were formerly in Pyaemia. These being Joel Sta (vocals), Robbert Vrijenhoek (drums) and Mark Wormmeester (bass). The band’s guitarist Stefan de Graaff is the only member of the band not to be a former member.
Where to start with this, well how about we talk about how much ass this album kicks. Guitar wise the album is just one ripper of a riff after another, with almost no respite in between. The guitar work in general is pretty complex and technical and employs some really unusual time signatures. I’m reminded of bands like Suffocation and Decapitated, which makes sense because the band do quote them as influences. The drum work is equally as intense, with a ceaseless ferocity that just won’t let up. Along with the guitar it really helps to drive the album both in overall sound and in energy. The overall tempo of the album is very much on the faster side of things but runs at a constant pace rather than speeding up or slowing down.
Bass wise we get an equal measure of aggression and speed, it doesn’t sit super high in the mix but rather adds depth of sound overall. Then we have the vocals, which are honestly just fantastic. They remind me of Chris Barnes at his peak, back in the legendary Cannibal Corpse years (and definitely in the later Six Feet Under Years), but at a faster pace and with a few other guttural gurgles and screeches thrown in. The vocals paired with the instrumentals make this a truly formidable force of death metal to reckon with.
It’s almost hard to put into words how enjoyable this release is. From start to finish it it’s just so damn heavy, groovy and catchy. Every riff (and there are countless) is enjoyable, as is the drum work and vocals. Every member of the band plays perfectly and together they’ve created what has immediately become one of my favourite death metal albums this year. The band have a new fan right here and I can’t wait to see what else they bring out in the future. So, make sure that this is an album you don’t miss.
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