Devour The Martyr: Wasted On The Living

Though it came out the tail end of last year Wasted On The Living from Australian metalers Devour The Martyr is one of those releases which needed retrospective attention for those like us who missed its initial release. The five track EP is a thunderous and incendiary explosion of death, groove, technical and trash metal brought through a tempest of aggression and invention. It easily riles up the senses and excites the heart whilst flooring them with vicious breakdowns, corruptive riffs, and crushing intensity. Though not a release to rupture the boundaries of extreme metal it and the band take it to its limits with precision, skill and ease.

Formed around three years ago the band started making major inroads into the metal scene early last year through the sharing of stages with the likes of Psycroptic, Blood Duster, Claim the Throne and Grotesque, and now of course with the release of Wasted On The Living. Consisting of vocalist Matt Ellis, guitarist Liam Ford, bassist  Max Harwood and  Dan Nazroo on drums, the band brings a hybrid sound which is inventive and refreshing.  As said it does not set new dimensions but without doubt determines levels of creativity and power many others fail to imagine let alone breach.

Exploding with the opener For The Slaughter, the release tops and tails itself with the best of the equally striking and impressive tracks. This first song storms the barricades of the senses with a corrosive energy permeated by harshly jabbing rhythms and destructive riffs. The track bruises and flaunts its muscle through every note alongside the increasingly spiteful and venomous growl of Ellis. The djent ruptures are compulsive within the constantly shifting assault which keeps things highly intriguing and persistently insatiable for it and its recipients. As the song settles into a more oppressive prowl there is a exchange of grooves, one strolling with predatory ease and the other a niggling greedy tease. There is also a Lamb Of God air to the more melodically crafted parts especially within the stylish and dazzling climax.

The following title track enters with caustic riffs framing a domestic exchange dripping anger. One expects the track to explode once into its stride but instead it takes a balanced and accusing stance in vocals and sound. It crawls through the ear with malevolent but finely shaped guitar play and deep resonating basslines to engage with less violence than assumed, the unpredictability of the band and its imagination impressive. The track persistently badgers and barracks the senses without unleashing its full might but the slower pace makes it one heavy and oppressive beast to satisfy all needs.

The Closer We Get and Realm Of The Toxic take the ear into further varied shadows, the first another slowly boiling slab of consumptive weight with scorched guitar play and festering energies which feed off the blackened breath and the second a rampant maelstrom of metallic variance. The second track whips the senses into a frenzy with thrash driven riffs and burning acidic melodic invention all pierced with stunning bass work and bone splintering beats.

As mentioned the release ends on the other biggest peak on Wasted On The Living in the magnetic shape of  No Suicide Without A Homicide. The track is again a thrash breathing brute of a song with death metal veins but  is layered with striking progressive essences and a less vindictive temperament. There are moments it feels Metallica like, if they had bigger balls, and in others it expels a Sepultura intensity, the shifting combination keeping one permanently engaged and thrilled.

Wasted On The Living is an outstanding release which all metal hearts will find a satisfying feast as well as the introduction to Devour The Martyr, a band destined to make a big mark on world metal.

RingMaster 22/08/2012

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Categories: EP, Music

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