Already keeping 2018 busy with a pair of split releases with Desekryptor and Ossuarium respectively, US death metallers Draghkar are poised to unleash their own four track infestation in the highly enjoyable shape of The Endless Howling Abyss.
Formed in 2016 by guitarist/vocalist BW (Grave Spirit/Gravesmasher), the band had gone through a few line-up changes before the first of those aforementioned splits was uncaged; bassist Daniel Kelley and drummer ES now completing the line-up. With a sound said to be inspired by Abhorrence and Amorphis and also increasingly embracing the likes of Molested, Mercyful Fate, and others as intimated within The Endless Howling Abyss, Draghkar has nurtured a potent mix of flavours and enterprise across their releases which certainly flourishes within the latest.
Traversing the Abyss rises from its bed with portentous strikes of sound, dramatic suggestion coating every surge of guitar and swing of rhythms until it settles into a controlled but portentous prowl. Every wave of riffs though brings a slight elevation in energy before it gathers for an intensive assault loaded with the throat gravel of BW. Grooves and melodic entangling escape the growing tempest, each with a lively swing that swiftly got under the skin. It is dark and ravenous, corruption at the creative heart but so very catchy and infectious too.
The excellent start continues with Swallowed by the Dark; a track not as mercurial in the attack of its animosity as in its predecessor but as rabidly venomous. It too shares grooves as viral as they are toxic, the guitar almost dancing on the rhythmic canter of the doom soaked bass splintered by senses splitting beats. It might be death metal bred but the track is prime rock ‘n’ roll, just in the most corrosive form of its incitement.
Next up Eternal Disintegration (Of The Body And Of The Mind) chains ears with one rich hook from its first breath, it a coaxing into a visceral canter but remaining to potently flavour the track’s subsequent emergence into a carnivorous predator. There is a bedlamic volatility in its depths which ignites even more invasive turbulence at times but never enough to extinguish the viral lure of its grooved invasion.
As if the release stored up all its malice and dissonance for its finale, Fading into Emptiness is an unsavoury consumption of the senses full of and leaving scars and fissures but again sweetening the malevolence with a great nagging of grooved temptation.
It is a fine end to a release which announces Draghkar as a definite to watch proposition within the death metal scene. Those previously mentioned splits made the suggestion, The Endless Howling Abyss insists on keeping them close.
The Endless Howling Abyss is released July 27th on CD through Craneo Negro Records (500 copies) and on cassette via Nameless Grave Records (75 copies). Both also available as well as digitally @ https://draghkar.bandcamp.com/album/the-endless-howling-abyss
Pete RingMaster 24/07/2018
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