From the topping and tailing mono recording of a classic tune your great granny would have revealed her ankles to, the new album from UK metallers Gehtika announces immediately it is not a release here just to feed your expectations. From its opening seconds Uncoventional Manicism sets thoughts racing from their initial dazed reaction with a crushing obliteration of unbridled and insatiable extreme metal. It takes no time to realise the band is bringing an unconventional and theatrical approach to their vision and sounds making for songs and an album which though not wholly successful leaves one basking in imaginative enterprise and an exhilarating onslaught of intensity.
The bio for the album declares that Gehtika in their words ‘truly formed in February 2011’ with the quartet having ‘written off’ their older material. They then went into the studio to discover and define their new style, the result the tremendously unpredictable Uncoventional Manicism. Released through Rising Records on July 23rd, the album is set to build on the acclaim and success of the Escape the Asylum tour in the latter part of last year. It is a perpetually and eagerly evolving release which at times works better than others but always drips sweet intrigue and hungry invention upon the palate. It might not be the easiest release to get a handle on and be consistent enough in its highest triumphs but it is definitely one of the more interesting and independent of thought albums out this year so far.
The Stratford upon Avon based band instantly grabs attention with their first full track Archai, the air inflaming guitar play and driving riffs impossible to ignore. The song though is relatively straight forward sounding in the sense of its direction with the vocals of Scot Allen growling with spite and contempt whilst the rhythms of Dean Hemming barge their way through the ear with firm and determined intent. With the riffing and sonic manipulations from Allen and fellow guitarist Topher O’Meagher scoring the senses decisively it makes for a song which is satisfying without leaving any lingering impression.
That is soon rectified with Prevail, the track a boiling torrent of creative devilment and uncompromising aggression. Bassist Psy’ Timms stalks the song with real hunger whilst alongside Allen their vocals brew the strongest and abrasive storm. The track is a continually twisting venomous beast spewing out knee buckling rhythms, laser sharp grooves, and ravenous riffs persistently within its memorable frame.
The equally inventive Into Asylum continues the eager addictive presence of the album but it is the twin attack of Reality of Mortality and Archai the Fallen which ignite the fiercest fires of pleasure. The first lifts its bulk from a bed of slightly discordant melodic peace but once awake the song stomps all over the senses with sheer brutal intent. With a ferociousness which never lets up the track lays vicious flaying riffs across the ear whilst inciting rebellion in the senses as they run in all directions under the malevolence of sound and vocal delivery. A multi flavoured creature it passes its fiery baton of glory onto Archai the Fallen which runs with it in its own distinct and diverse way straight to the heart. At times one wonders if the band knew where they were going with the song as like a chameleon it changes its shape and hue persistently. For many bands this would be messy but with Gehtika it is just corruptive poetry.
Other songs without reaching the heights of this pair are still impressive and wrong footing enjoyment, the likes of Lost Thoughts and the epic Fear Within taking one on a mystery trip of intrigue and rewards. Uncoventional Manicism is an album which in order to discover and appreciate its qualities needs one to stand right within its storm and give a focused attention. Within the hurricane of ideas and sounds all the imaginative skills and ideas show their worth, stand back with a more casual attention and at times the album appears merely as a sprawling wall of annihilatory metal, which admittedly is not always a negative anyway.
Gehtika have returned to fire up sure anticipation for their ventures ahead and right now simply left us with one welcome and pleasing creative bruising.
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