Livarkahil – Signs Of Decay

There is forceful intensity in music and then there is Livarkahil. The word going around about the French band was positive but there was no indication for the explosive encounter awaiting the senses as the first track on their new album Signs Of Decay revealed its bestial power. The album is a powder keg of passion, violent emotion, and scorching potency, its crushing riffs and sonically stripping onslaught holding dominion over the ear and every second is total bliss.

Formed in 2007, the Parisian death metal band first came to solid attention with their debut album First Act Of Violence in 2009, receiving a good strong response from fans and media as did their demo No Cure For The Fools before it in 2007. Returning on September the 26th via Listenable Records with the devastation that is Signs Of Decay, they are sure to gain much more attention, acclaim and fans wide and far as they lay waste to all before them with their aural offensive. A concept album based on religious autocracy and mans needs being exploited; the release is a blistering attack in every way possible and leaves its mark intently and indelibly.  

The quintet of vocalist HK, guitarists Kaiin and Traüme, plus Neil and Skvm bass and drums respectively, bring a blackened death metal form to their music but it carries much more; at times there are more metal spices, dark industrial tones, and within the brutality a technical play that is immense. The band is confident in their sound and creates things uniquely, following no formulas or expected directions; this brings a fresh and distinct flavour and overall a defined quality to their music.

The albums best track starts the dark descent for the senses. ‘In Nomine Patris’ is staggering, even with the building intensity moving towards an expected crescendo there is no solid warning of the attack ahead, even with its ominous feel. The track goes for the mental jugular as it hits its stride with an aggression and sound that would make the likes of Devildriver and Suicide Silence wince. It leaves one breathless but it is only the start as the equally impressive and ravaging ‘When Hell Is Near’ proves. Another highly ferocious track it invades with riffs that are primal and predatory, like scavengers of the senses. It may be uncomfortable and might even hurt but Signs Of Decay is satisfyingly formidable and enjoyable.

Showing no weakness the album strides through further triumphant monstrosities of noise, all challenging and all invitingly addictive. It is hard to pick out one track over another but ‘Above All Hatred’, ‘The Flesh Of All Damned’, and ‘Heaven Shall Fall’ all stay just that little longer inside after they depart the ear. The album though as a whole is always the important factor and with it Livarkahil have created a release that will mark them as heavyweights in metal sooner rather than later.

Produced by HK& BST (Aosoth, The Order Of Apollyon) the album allows each element of the sound to breathe and excel. Distinct basslines, strikingly creative and intrusive guitars, blasting rhythms and drums filled with vocals that delve deeply within the deliverers and recipients are the fuel; for a collection of tracks that are instinctive and hit with the impact of a explosion. Signs Of Decay is the album of the month already and possibly of the year, is hard to remember many challengers so far.

RingMaster 19/09/2011

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