Following on from their staggering in all aspects of the word album Signs Of Decay of last year, French death metallers Livarkahil have returned with an even greater and devastating treat. Wrath Of God is a five track brutal monstrosity of excellence which has been unleashed as a free streaming/free download EP. Not only do the Parisian death metal leviathans rage an unstoppable sonic war upon the senses and body they do it for nothing, a selfless act of pure sadism.
Since forming in 2007, Livarkahil has unrelentingly whipped an ever increasing devoted following into a full frenzy through their outstanding releases, each one finding the band evolving into greater and more impressive spheres. Wrath Of God is no different and though arguably it is not an improvement on the previous colossal album it is not decline either but triumphantly explores new ideas from the band. The biggest difference is the vocals of HK. On the EP he has taken his previously gutturally pushed corruptions into an even more blackened arena and it works wonderfully. Though not as varied as we are used to the new approach brings a different thrilling blistering for the ear and one can only hope he combines this new flavouring with his more standard abuses in the future.
As to be expected the band leaves nothing on the table musically, in invention or force. The songs within Wrath Of God are as towering and violently unstoppable as the greatest tsunami. If there is a more clinical yet annihilatory band around it is hard to bring them to thought as the EP lays waste to the senses. As with previous releases the core of the sound on the EP is death metal but there is again much more surging within the consumption, the band ripping up and re-animating in their own cause varied and distinct metal and industrial flavours. This makes for a persistently tumultuous storm of rampaging noise and invigorating invention. There is never a respite to grab a breath but with every note and second igniting emotions and synapses once dormant, it is extremely rewarding and welcome.
The restrained but sonically brewing intro of The Eternal Sun immediately grasps attention, its acidic melodic lure mesmeric before the militant rhythms emerging behind. The track soon erupts in a battalion of steeled jabs from drummer Skvm and challenging riffs thrust forward by guitarists Träume and Sonaer whilst bassist Simurgh prowls with devouring psychotic lines. Heavyweight muscles are flexed and incendiary melodic incursions lit as the track expands into a crushing and spiteful assault. It is an immense opener with its seven minutes plus of inspiring and cyclonic energy leaving one deeply satisfied.
From there the band raise the temperature and quality even more with the brilliant Through Hatred And Devotion. Making the previous track seem almost docile the song obliterates nerve endings and senses with a rabid ferocity. With jackhammer intensity through the merciless artillery of Skvm and denting bedlamic riffs, the song is a writhing creative black force towering over its recipient with venom and imaginative malicious intent.
The following Deny Your God is no less vindictive with a twisting barbed groove slashing the ear from within the ferocious invention and play. Like an anger fuelled bear, the track curses and stalks with an unbridled predatory taunting, its heart and voice snarling with a malevolence borne of the darkest pit.
Devotion picks through the debris left behind with equal spite but brings a melodic glow to its tempestuous eagerness. Though arguably the least addictive of the tracks it has a siren breath to it with an insistently intriguing imagination and dark harmony underlining the surface black energy. This leads to an eventual contagion and pushes the song forward as one of the best on what is a stunning release.
Closing with the hypnotic ingenuity of the title track, another deeply intrusive and full gratifying explosion of craft and idea brewed in a vat of aggressive and oppressive creativity, Wrath Of God is easily one of the best things to appear this year. and Featuring guest appearances from Julien (Benighted), Henrik (As You Drown) , Mkm (Antaeus, Aosoth), BST (Aosoth, The Order Of Apollyon) and INRVI (Aosoth, VI), it is as mentioned released as a free download (link below)so there really is no excuse available to not go and feel the brilliance of Livarkahil.
THROUGH HATRED AND DEVOTION