If there’s a most unlikely metal genre to evolve further, it’s Death Metal. It’s often the same old traditional beat that will get those old metalheads all excited. Bands going full-speed melancholia DM do still appear to this day. And they’re welcome over here more often than not.1) But that section of the deathly ones already got a lot of coverage and there’s only so much we can report. So, where’s that wind of change, those new vibes that would excite us to no end?
Well, luckily, we got ourselves new bands that will take their art to a whole different dimension. With so much energy and gusto that they will make thrash go pale with envy. Slaughter the Giant are one of those outfits. Formed in 2018,2) they released an EP called Asylum of the Damned in 2019, and then – nada. It took them a while, but now that Depravity is out, we got our earphones glued to our mutual heads. And how could we resist a piece that tries to invoke Lucifer by their second track already? Yup, we couldn’t. Some World to Come alright. And come to think of it, we seem to be right in it these days. But I digress, this is a music ‘zine.
Melodic Death Metal it should be, they said. And as brainwashed metalheads must, the RMR crew here expected some stately fare of the likes of Insomnium. Or if it should be a tad wilder, we’d look towards folks like some older Stortregn and their ilk. Yet here, Depravity turns out to be a friggin’ scorcher. Right from the first note, these guys make a statement. And that’s red-hot, straight-in-yer-face Melodic Death Metal. And by melodic I mean some decent orchestration that suddenly appears somewhere back in the mix (The Undead). Or some progressive vibes that rush to the forefront (World to Come, The Undead yet again) in all that tumultuous and delicious DM mess. Just to confuse the heck out of us and annoy the Symphonic Metal and prog dudes and dudettes to hell and back, I guess. A thought that elicited a few evil chuckles over here.
Or take the neatly blackened Ecological Collapse, for instance. Overdosed on ruthless tremolos for large parts, the piece kinda meanders about a number of styles with a refreshing urgency. A lot of the boundless energy and frightening firepower is due to Benny Ubachs‘ relentless rasp. Yet, the Devos / Broos tag team truly bore the brunt of the action churning out those tremendous riffs and soaring solos that ring out suddenly without prior warning.
And what potential filet pieces did the RMR review committee discover? Well, Co-ed Butcher with its almost tech death airs for sure. That one comes with a sudden eruption of pseudo-classical wails and demonic choir that made us return to it a few times. The Undead will qualify for sure, a track that showcases the essence of Depravity. Then, throw in Dark Days for good measure. This is one powerful ending of an equally powerful record. That said, however, there are no weak tracks on this short album. In fact, the second part contains the strongest songs of the piece. Which is something we seldom see on metal albums.
All of that crazy metallic jazz rolls in on a pretty bulletproof production, which is – come to think of it – imperative for such a record. And truly so, the sheer number of different elements jockeying for position on Depravity make things difficult for some. Case in point, the bass, whilst right in the middle, has a tendency to disappear into the mix.
In the end, however, Depravity sports brutal and often speedy Melodic Death Metal that often sails closer to slam than is good for it. But to juice it up, Slaughter the Giant wove enough crazed and often baroque symphonics into their fiendish atrocities to make up for that. A quirk that would resonate extremely well off the hilltop walls of Perugia in Italy. Y’know, the hometown of Fleshgod Apocalypse.
That said, we’re not suggesting any copycat activity on this record, of course. To the contrary, we found a refreshing, albeit somewhat short piece of vinyl, sporting one of the hottest deliveries of Melodeath of this year so far. Death Metal reinvented in a way. You gotta do this first on a debut album. The RMR review committee is impressed.