Sure to give extreme metal a big nudge to their existence and intimidating quality, Swiss death metallers Near Death Condition have unleashed their third full-length Evolving Towards Extinction, a towering and brutal assault on the senses. Thrusting eleven tracks of uncompromising and ravenous ferocity through the ears, the release also holds a rich vein of inventive imagination beneath the tsunami of vicious endeavour and intent. At times it is understated or needs extra attention to really explore, but it constantly makes each track an individual incitement of increasing rewards, all combining for an impressive stature to the album. It has to be said that the release does not consistently light a rigorous blaze in personal passions or excite as intensely in places as others, but there is no denying that attention and appetite are thrillingly fed.
Hailing from Valais, Near Death Condition emerged in 2001 with inspirations from bands such as Morbid Angel, Deicide, Deathspell Omega, Death, and Gorguts driving their immediately imposing sound. Since forming the band has lit up stages alongside the likes of Origin, Hour Of Penance, Darkane, Texture and numerous others whilst releasing a pair of full-lengths. Demo release Delusional Perception of Reality was uncaged in 2005 to good underground attention. Its success went towards the band eventually signing with Unique Leader Records with The Disembodied – In Spiritual Spheres released in 2011 to potent acclaim and responses from fans and press across the globe. March of this year saw Evolving Towards Extinction uncaged to again strong reactions and with its threatening gait, testing hostility, and creative tempest it is easy to see why.
The quartet of vocalists/guitarists Patrick and Stéphane, bassist Simon, and drummer Guido give a brief twinge of sinister drama before going straight for the throat with some of the most rabid riffs and destructive rhythms sure to be heard this year. The entrance of Words of Wisdom literally bowls the senses over, savaging their very being with increasing toxic sonic violation and rhythmic barbarism as riffs gnaw their surface and heavy guttural vocal expulsions roar malevolently. It is a hellacious introduction, one which never relents in its intensity even as the guitars begin unwinding equally venomous grooves and an underling swagger. Subsequently melodic acidity and shifting gaits join the tempest to engage the imagination as impressive guitar enterprise burns the surface of the by now predacious crawl. The track continues to twist and spit animosity with every note, beat, and syllable as it persistently evolves for a staggering first assault of the release.
The following Between the Dying and the Dead is no less vitriolic and hostile but takes little time in colouring its grievous landscape with swipes of celestial yet demonic harmonies and ravenous inventive bait. The guitars persistently carve rich grooves and ingenious hooks into the body of the song whilst bass and drums sculpt a bestial baiting. It is a glorious ferocity soaked in rabid dread but unafraid to spare room for a fire bred solo and additional imaginative detours. The track is at its strongest and most potent when it is going for the jugular but all the unpredictability and at times unsure turns, definitely keep the imagination engrossed. Its stirring presence is emulated by the barbaric Intelligent Design, another slaughter of the senses which is prone to flirtations of sonic and fiery melodic scorching as well as intriguing almost wrong footing exploits. Not as gripping as the first pair the track still leaves a hunger in place which is further healthily fed.
Pandemic of Ignorance stalks ears from its first breath, its shoulders heavy laden with hate over a spine of rhythmic bile wrapped in vehemence spawned grooves. It is a pestilential predator, its slow crawl sheer intimidation until eventually breaking free of its reins for a throat tearing onslaught, ears and senses overwhelmed by a storm of merciless aural and lyrical rancor. It is a compelling violation which sets emotions up for the outstanding Praise the Lord of Negation. It also is a song which flies for the jugular, this time with a swarm of sonic pestilence and rhythmic cruelty; that alone baits and traps a new greed within the passions but it is the insatiable maniacal fury to its psychotic repetitious seducing which hits the sweet spot.
The leviathan weighted crawl of The Anatomy of Disgust wrapped in similarly laboured but magnetic grooves comes next, its sultry flames of guitar across bloodlust driven rhythms and destructive riffery highly satisfying but lacking the spark of certainly its predecessor. The animalistic Anagamin finds its own incendiary fuse to invigorated responses, its pestilence coated prowl inspiring an animosity clad weave of invention which pushes the song enticingly into the grinning imagination. In many ways the album ebbs and flows, to be fair not in quality and individual skills but in degrees of success with personal tastes. As the following rapaciously consuming title track and the carnivorous Vertigo prove there is never a track where Near Death Condition does not bewitch and threaten with their inventive sanguinity, or impress.
Evolving Towards Extinction closes with the deliciously nagging Communing with Emptiness, a track swarming with serpentine grooves and riffs around the ever impressive artillery of disorientating drum voracity and dual vocal abrasions, and finally Nostalgia for Chaos. The final song is a beast in nature and stature as well as gait, but as the previous song endowed with some scintillating and feverishly enjoyable guitar enterprise. The ferocious incitement brings the album to a formidable and rapturously thrilling conclusion leaving the listener breathless but wholly satisfied. It is an album which also gets better and more potent over time, still undulating with some of its moments but with a baseline of rich satisfaction, a strong recommendation of Near Death Condition and album to all extreme metal fans is a no brainer.
Evolving Towards Extinction is available now on Unique Leader Records @ http://www.indiemerch.com/uniqueleader/band/near-death-condition
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