From the ever-reliable Transcending Obscurity stable – you really can rely on them to turn up nugget after Golden nugget of death metal goodness, it seems – comes the new album from Western Australian merchants of pummel Depravity. And, predictably, it’s a face-melting ripper of an album.
Although Depravity the band has only been extant for four years, it’s component parts have bags of experience between them and you can tell that as the band hammers it’s way expertly through this album which comprises eleven tracks of sheer, sublime brutality. The band know how to write a song (as in, where to put melody and dynamics, rather than just pure battery); Consequently tracks like Castrate The Perpetrators have an almost classic metal construction and feel to them, embracing tropes from trad metal’s eighties heyday to enhance rather than blunt their naturally more violent sonic proclivities. It’s a winning mixture.
The Coming of The Hammering shifts things on a bit into a more nineties feel, but overall the band do more than enough as a unit to stop this from just becoming an exercise in ‘name-that-riff’ nostalgia; Lynton Cessford and Jarrod Curley work well together as a guitar team, and together with vocalist Jamie Kay they work well on the title track, the twin guitars and voice entwining with one another through an unlikely harmonic progression that will make the hairs on the back of your neck rise in admiration.
At the other end of the spectrum Barbaric Eternity is an unrelenting, hellish crossfire of machine-gun drum battery and unrestricted wang-bar warfare; it’s probably the album’s highlight if all you crave is straight-up mayhem – and why not? – but Depravity really do have all the brutal death metal bases covered within the grooves of Grand Malevolence. Give it a listen at your earliest convenience. You can thank me later.
Grand Malevolence Is Out Now.