Texas-based brutal death metallers STABBING may only have been an active band for little over a year now, but they have quickly managed to garner a lot of traction with their utterly intense music. The band’s first EP, Ravenous Psychotic Onslaught, coming just over six months after the release of their debut demo, showcased a lot of promise, and luckily, the quartet, featuring members of underground mainstay acts such as SCATTERED REMAINS, NEPHILIM GRINDER and EMBODIMENT OF SUFFERING, have been quick to capitalise of their momentum. Their debut full-length album Extirpated Mortal Process is an incredibly impressive record that builds further upon the solid foundations laid on their very first releases.
Inhaling The Dead launches straight into a bludgeoning, primal piece of death metal built around sludgy bass hooks, authoritative drums, monstrous gutturals and dense, rhythmic guitars. It all contributes to a thick, groove-laden sound right out of the gate, serving as a suitably punishing start to the record. Razor Wire Strangulation, with its blistering pace and sharper, more melodic approach, is another caustic, visceral slab of brutal death metal, with a tighter, more frenetic pace and an energetic feel that makes it all the more impressive and eclectic. Southern Hacksaw Execution is a juggernaut of a song, with the relentless drums and angular guitars providing an intricate and ferocious edge counterpointed by the rumbling growl of the vocals, again contributing to a crowded but incredibly cohesive sound.
Extirpated Mortal Process is driven by its chunky riffs and crushingly low vocals, with a few bursts of intensity injecting a chaotic element into the mix. It breaks up the weightier parts with a feral urgency, something that really elevates it above much of what has preceded it. Leishmaniasis is another great mid-tempo track interspersed with belligerent bursts of brutality that punctuate the more measured moments of the music with a cacophonous dissonance that isn’t overdone and works extremely well by adding a little more intensity to proceedings. Visions Of Eternal Suffering up the ante with regards to the rabid side of the band’s sound, with each of the components of the music coalescing into a noxious blend of whirlwind guitars, precise drums and throaty gutturals. It proves to be one of the more aggressive and rabid offerings on an album that has already been full of them.
Final Flesh Feast, with its sudden stop-start tempo shifts and focused, melody-tinged guitars, is another of the album’s more polished, catchy numbers, but it doesn’t sacrifice the more bellicose and oppressive sonic ingredients to achieve the desired impact, incorporating some great, meaty slams in its second half in a more effective way than they have been utilised on earlier songs. Stabbing sees the denser, darker sound that closed the previous song being explored more in depth, with cavernous rhythms and in particular the acerbic clang of the cymbals giving this song a claustrophobic bent that it’s hard not to get completely drawn in by. Visceral Liquid Terror is arguably one of the album’s stand out tracks, on the merit of its muscular, domineering groove, booming vocal deliveries and that same overly tight and prominent drum sound that lends all of the best brutal death and slam its core harshness. The shift away from chaotic motifs, leaving only dense, crawling death metal hooks in its wake, means there’s a lot to love about this track.
Slashed Throat Awakening heads in completely the opposite direction, leaning heavily into the freneticism that has served many of the album’s earlier songs and resulting in another fierce and unflinchingly pummelling slab of brutal death metal with an unhinged and unpredictable side that makes it all the more engrossing. It Ends With Flames‘ machine gun drums, slick guitar work and bubbling bass and vocals all combine to make for a varied and expansive piece of music that takes in dizzying speed and funereal crawl, with hints of eerie discordance. From the stand point of musicianship, it’s a brilliant, climactic effort, and Pulsing Wound, although a great track in its own right, lurching from energetic and jarring sections to slower, slam-orientated ones with ease, feels like a bit of an afterthought. It would probably have been a bit more impactful had it featured a little earlier in the record, as opposed to bringing it to a close.
As far as debut albums are concerned, this is an incredibly solid affair, and much like their demo and EP, boasts a lot of promise, albeit with a few areas where there’s a little room for improvement. It’s a great, nauseating brew of brutal death metal, slam and some well placed touches of melodicism that will, if refined and developed, bode well for their future sound. Like a lot of brutal death metal records, the crowded and speed-driven approach of the song-writing stops some of the subtler elements within the music from coming to the fore more prominently. On the plus side, this would be relatively easy to fix with a slightly more polished mix, and it’s very hard to find fault with any of the musicianship on display here, with all the performances being notably strong throughout the whole album. To be able to produce an album’s worth of music of this calibre in just over 18 months is no easy feat, and it’s clear that the song-writing chemistry is there to make whatever comes after Extirpated Mortal Process potentially something spectacular.
Extirpated Mortal Process is out now via Comatose Music.
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