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Review: Avulsed – Altar of Disembowelment

Altar of Disembowelment is a new release for Spanish death metal fanatics Avulsed. Having 5 tracks makes Altar of Disembowelment a short EP, however it packs a strong enough punch. Visit Avulsed’s Spotify, Bandcamp, and Facebook pages!

Altar of Disembowelment sounds just like the title sounds: nasty. The guttural growls, pummeling double bass, and distorted guitars make it all nasty. That’s pretty much what you want when listening to underground death metal and that’s exactly what Avulsed delivers. Unlike many other releases, there are no fillers, introductory movements, or boring moments. Altar of Disembowelment starts heavy, remains heavy, and ends heavy (the final track has a sweet surprise). There are lots of tremolo-picking, chugging, and rumbling bass. Note: the bass isn’t loud, but with bass-heavy headphones you should be able to hear it somewhat. While all 3 are demonstrated on each track, look to “To Sacrifice and Devour” for a general example, since it is the first track. This follows a fairly simple structure and includes more than the standard 2 or 3 riffs. You get an individual riff for sacrificing and devouring and a separate chorus that gives you the time to sacrifice and devour. Funky bell hits on the ride accent the main riff in between choruses as other cymbal hits project a unique voice for key points in the song. A tasteful song, but not the heaviest to be heard yet.

“Red Viscera Serology” is a good example of how heavy Altar of Disembowelment can get without changing up the sound too much. What I like most about “Red Viscera Serology” is how the drums play more notes leading up to important points in the song, like the bridge or a chorus, and the guitars will drone chords, both creating an intense build up to whatever the hell is next. I also like how the snare drum isn’t too sharp or shrill sounding, but it has a punch to it that jabs at the right moments. The song has 2 main parts that repeat, but are separated by a bridge of high notes. The ending is exactly how you want it: with the same intensity as one of those build ups, but lasting longer and stopping suddenly.

The introduction for “Ceremony of Impalement” sounds like it is playing for illicit people engaging in illicit conducts: nothing out of the ordinary. Avulsed takes that intro riff and changes it a bit during the choruses so you still have that “up to no good” sound, but it isn’t a complete copy of what was played before. That works out well here because the drums change appropriately for each part which distracts you from the fact that the riffs are similar. There is a ritualistic sounding solo that fades into this well where the sacrificed creature was dropped off. The music literally sounds like people are dropping off remnants of a sacrifice into a well. “Ceremony of Impalement” ends pounding this idea until it slowly fades. The song is gone, but never to be forgotten.

This song will probably be the fan favorite here: “Tremble in the Darkness” has a Threat Signal-esque intro, but loses that whole metalcore scheme quick. This song is mostly a mixture of tremolo-picked and chugged riffs with chords being the dividers. The bridge to the solo is a nice hook with harmonious rhythm playing, but soon goes back to the main riff and drum groove. I would say this is the simplest song and the song that would get the crowd going more.

Finally we have a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Neon Knights.” I actually did not even know “Neon Knights” was a cover until I saw that the song was called “Neon Knights.” It sounds very different than the original, because Black Sabbath didn’t play death metal. I was pretty surprised I couldn’t tell it was a cover because I am a huge Sabbath fan, but it just sounds so different with guttural growls, galloped chugs, and fast drumming. I don’t mind the fact it’s a cover because it sounds like something Avulsed would write on their own. I can’t say much more about it other than it’s a pretty good death metal dub of a classic song.

I loved Altar of Disembowelment. It wasn’t too extreme, but it definitely wasn’t not heavy and the drumming was spectacular. There isn’t much to dislike if you like death metal, unless you only really like the extreme stuff. It’s a good album and is only 3 Euros on their bandcamp. If the bass was more prominent this would have been a higher rate.

Rate: 9.2/10

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