lunedì 13 febbraio 2017

Ekpyrosis - "Asphyxiating Devotion" (Memento Mori, 2017)

Band: Ekpyrosis
Title: Asphyxiating Devotion
Genre: Death Metal
Year: 23rd January 2017
Time: 41 min
Rating: 77/100

It's been a fuckin' while that there aren't Italian bands on this 'zine, the last one of them was the Praetorians Reverber with their excellent "Immortals" during the first days of this new year. But, finally, Italy returns with the promising Ekpyrosis, a young quartet band coming from the Lombardy's cities Milan and Lecco which has taken their strange moniker from a Greek term ("ekpyrosis", precisely) to indicate the (cyclic) destruction of the universe through fire, according to the stoic philosophy known as "palingenesis". Nice intellectual moniker for a band completeley deep-rooted into the blows of the purest death metal. It is no accident that the debut album of Ekpyrosis, "Asphyxiating Devotion", has been recently released through the Spanish Memento Mori, an hyper-specialized death metal label like few other ones.

These 4 furious guys, along for 4 years, dubs their music as "Ruthless and Vitriolic Death Metal" admittedly influenced by bands like Incantation, Sadistic Intent, Grotesque and Demigod. Well, for me, Ekpyrosis plays basically an US death metal characterised by an unspeakable and oppressive brutality. The strident and painful riffs are very close to Immolation and Incantation while the nervous complexity of the 9 songs of "Asphyxiating Devotion" reminds to me the delirious structures of the early Deicide, often alternating merciless (ultra)-fast assaults with abysmal slow torments à la Incantation, also due to the unpredictable performances of the female drummer Jo, that represent a solid rhythmic section along with the bassist M.. Instead, the vocals offers very good dynamics because they ranges, thanks to Mark and Nick (also in Blasphemer now), from screamed parts to catacomb growls with the result to create some very intense verbal crossfires between the two singers (as in "Depths of Tribulation"), facing lyrics fuckin' rancorous against Christianity.

But there is need to say that there isn't a single guitar solo throughout the entire album while the lead guitar riffs are rare ("Obsessive Christendom" and "Blasphemous Doom"), ergo Ekpyrosis are a very united band that, rather flooding the listeners with uncontrollable solos, prefer to suffocate him working on complex structures and using many breaks with following devastating restarts. Then, the band never ever cross the borders of their genre of reference, so Ekpyrosis are one of the purest death metal bands that I listened during these last times. This means that the album plays in a very homogeneous way but, anyway, offering some good variations between the various songs.

In this way, I have especially appreciated the second part of "Asphyxiating Devotion". Specifically, my favorite songs are the last 4 ones, in particularly "Morticians of God" (a real sonic holocaust since it is the most violent track of the album), "Depths of Tribulation" (completed of very rare groovy mid-tempos) and "Unearthly Blindness" (where there is an awesome performance by Jo that here is incredibly furious but technical at the same time). I have to mention also "Immolate the Denied" with its long funeral doom part with hallucinated tones; and the opening track "Profound Death", a tour de force of 7 fuckin' minutes.

But now I have to admit a thing: "Asphyxiating Devotion" seemed to me a little weak when I listened it for the first time. The reasons behind that summary view were to be found into the total absence of the guitar solos and into the apparent little variety of the album. Fortunately, I preferred to give a second chance to "Asphyxiating Devotion", so I started to consider it a very good album from listening to listening. Sure, I think that the addition of some guitar solos isn't a bad idea, or, at least, Ekpyrosis should use more guitar lead riffs so to make more profound their music but, anyway, "Asphyxiating Devotion", strong of a stinking production by Carlo Altobelli and of a fantastic cover artwork by the Spanish artist César Valladares, is only the first album of this band. For the moment, enjoy "Asphyxiating Devotion" and know that Ekpyrosis will play at the third edition of the Purulent Deathfest at Rozzano (Milan) on 22nd April 2017. ONLY DEATH IS REAL...

1 - Profound Death
2 - Obsessive Christendom
3 - God Grotesque
4 - Immolate the Denied
5 - Incarnation of Morbidity
6 - Morticians of God
7 - Depths of Tribulation
8 - Blasphemous Doom
9 - Unearthly Blindness


Mark - vocals/guitars
Nick - guitars/vocals
M. - bass
Jo - drums

Memento Mori:

Nessun commento:

Posta un commento