2014 is already getting off to a thumping musical year with numerous impressive releases across numerous genres even though barely into its second week and you can add another gem to the growing list in the towering shape of the Uglier Than Thou EP from Romanian death metallers Loudrage. Five tracks of groove infested malevolence which takes the ears and imagination on a rampant dance of incendiary and devilish contagion whilst gnawing away at the insides. It is voraciously compelling protagonist for senses and emotions and easily one of the most scintillating tempestuous assaults daring to molest the psyche in recent months.
Formed in 2005 and bringing influences from the likes of Six Feet Under, Debauchery, Sepultura, Obituary, Grave, Bolt Thrower, and Deicide into their horror bred malevolence, the Ludus hailing, Transylvania based Loudrage are no strangers to attention and acclaim being named as Best Romanian Death Metal Newcomer in their second year and playing with the likes of Sepultura, Vital Remains, Godphobia, and Rictus Grin in their first couple of years as well as sharing a split DVD with the last of the four in 2007. The following year saw the release of the Rage Unleashed – Tale of a Murderer EP which followed a self-released demo two years earlier. Shows with bands such as Grave, Belphegor, Nile, Opera Ix, Lividity, Furnaze, Nuclear, and Amethyst to name just a few filled the following years as well as the release of the Pungent Roots demo in 2011. Last year saw the quartet of Molester (vocals), Bestial (guitar), Vomital (bass), and Canibal (drums) enter the studio to record their new release and though wide recognition outside of their home territories still escapes them, given luck and attention it is hard to imagine Uglier Than Thou not providing the hefty key to open up new doors in recognition.
It is fair to say that as soon as opening track Doomed thrusts its muscular intensive frame upon the ear and an instant predacious groove calls from within the tsunami of sound the band has their irresistible hooks in deep. Riffs gnaw away at the senses with torrential persistence whilst the drums clobber the ears with sturdy endeavour and enthusiastic violence. The predominantly death metal track is an unrelenting nagging driven by the guttural squalls of Molester. It is a potent irrepressible mix, arguably not breaking new ground but is virulently contagious especially as little splinters of grooves entwine the tempest from time to time. It is an impressive start to the encounter with greater assaults to come it soon emerges.
As Long As I Live soon has things instantly aflame as it stomps into view wielding an addiction fuelling groove which wraps around the ears like a salacious temptress. The stroll and swagger of the song is virulent in the extreme, a wonderful carnivorous bass sound constantly chewing upon the infectious lures laid by the guitars alongside corrosive vocals which get better and more impressive as the EP progresses. With the lyrics parading the nastiest dangerous romance and often slight but always open twists and turns to the invention and gait of the song almost taunting, it is a masterful insidious seduction. Again you can argue that Loudrage are revitalising previously sculpted sonic animosity and venom rather than spawning their own but truthfully who cares when it sounds so good.
Both Fear Me and Suffo-Kate stalk voraciously the new found plateau of the release, the first a thoroughly ravenous intrusion on the senses. Riffs crawl and antagonise the air whilst rhythms show rigid restraint to frame the savagery though still managing to have moments to add their bone splintering spite too. Again the bass feeds the primal beast inside, its stringed jaws a rapacious aggressor alongside the toxic scrub of riffs. Its successor is no less pestilential and more ferocious in its energy and groove lit rabidity. There is also a crunch to the tone of the song, a metallic intensity which infests and resonates in bone and the imagination, whilst the melodic poison raging through the veins and grooves of the track sear and almost asphyxiate the senses. The pair are again pinnacles which linger and drive a real hunger to hear more from the band now and in the future.
The EP closes with the groove fest of Intruders; from vocals to riffs, rhythms to those wonderfully infernal grooves the song savages with death metal sculpted hips swaying like a whirling dervish. It is an infection which should be quarantined, though only if we are locked inside with its uncompromising, ferocious devilry. It is a blistering conclusion to an impressively hellacious release. There is nothing to fault the EP over apart from debatably it holding a strong familiarity in some ways to established invention, but as mentioned before it is a minor thought before a major triumph and the moment when Loudrage will be a name eagerly thrust around the metal world.
Go grab Uglier Than Thou as a buy now name your price release at http://loudrage.bandcamp.com/album/uglier-than-thou now!
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