Taking its heart and breath from the US seeded strain of early death metal, French band Offending has brought a fresh if not new air to the genre with their second full length release Age of Perversion. It is an album which wears its influences like battalion colours and engages and assaults the senses like a merciless determined force. It does not venture too far into new pastures or ignite the fiercest fires with its sounds but the album is far more intriguing and absorbing than most, its skilled play and perpetually contagious imagination ensuring a full and satisfying experience each and every time.
The Bordeaux based quintet of vocalist Jesus The Butcher, a man with a tar like bestial delivery, the striking and inventive guitarists GP and Cyriex, and a rhythm section to incite the deepest primitive instincts in bassist Yoni and V.R. on drums, send the ear and senses reeling with a sound recalling the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, Vile, Hate Eternal. Up to this point the band has grabbed a mounting attention through their 2005 demo as well as stage sharing with the likes of Killers, Genital Grinder, Necropsy, and Prophecy. They further accelerated that interest with 2007 mini CD The Destruction of The Human Spirit which marked the debut to the band of Butcher and Yoni, and their greatly received debut album Human Concept of 2010 through Deepsend Records who have also released the new album. Age of Perversion has found the band deepening their obvious creative skill and thought whilst emerging as a release which is brutally intrusive and infectiously manipulative, and sure to increase the acclaim.
The album opens with Infested By His Burden. The track offers an initial sinister and ominous crawl to its energy with the guitars almost teasing the ear whilst the rhythms behind have an insistent but yet to be demanding intensity. It cannot hold back for long though and soon the song is eagerly feasting upon the ear with incisive and divisive guitar craft and drum intimidation. As the track evolves it changes in to an even more combative militant gait, the previous insistence becoming a domineering violence. Though by its end one finds it easier to remember particular elements than the song as a whole it is still one of the more gratifying tracks whilst in its abusive company.
A triplet of consecutive highlights next follows, a trio of exceptional tracks which leave the others on the release in their wake. Firstly there is Within This World, a track with a hunger to twist and manipulate the senses like a military trained wizard, their consumptive intensity consistent and devastatingly exact whilst completely mesmeric. The blend of technical persuasion and bludgeoning malevolent is impressive and entirely insatiable in its desire and ones welcoming. This rampaging melodically armed annihilation leads into the equally ravenous Modern Enslavement. It is like its predecessor a track which blinds one with its dazzling guitar invention and scorched melodic beckoning to the overwhelming destructive purpose of the storming intensity around it. Though not quite as contagious as the previous song it is equally outstanding and thrilling.
The third of the strongest peaks on the album comes in the shape of best track of all, Dominion XXI. The song captures a pure infection with its melodically bleeding riffs and hypnotic rhythms, using the combination as a lure for the senses in the face of another full strength bone splitting strike. There is an anthemic pull for the emotions from the song, its urgent inciteful energy and drive sparking eruptions of instinctive dormant malignance.
These three tracks are worth an investigation of Age of Perversion alone but are ably supported by the likes of the venomous Religion Depravity, the corrupting title track, and the synapse rioting Hopeless Submission, all making for an album which is a very worthy use of any ones time.
Age of Perversion as mentioned is maybe not the most original release and apart from the truly outstanding threesome of quality arguably lacks further immense artillery to constantly enflame the heart. It is though one of the more pleasing and enterprising albums from the genre and easily a companion to share multiple times with and that is what it is all about surely.