With more of a storm than a buzz brewing up around US metallers The Last Ten Seconds Of Life, the Mansfield, Pennsylvania quartet unleash their new album Invivo[Exvivo] to ravage not only their already seemingly submissive homeland but equally Europe and the UK. Ten tracks of virulently malicious and ridiculously compelling extreme provocation the album is a ferocious mix of filth clad aural brutality. A voracious maelstrom of everything from deathcore to grind, groove to nu metal and a flood of plenty more essences poisoning its vitriolic glory, the band’s sound takes no prisoners but neither does it leave the listener searching for rapacious imagination or feverishly rewarding adventure. Some of the tracks take longer to pull a submission than others from the passions but ultimately all succeed on one quite exhausting and riveting scourge.
Formed in 2010 and consisting of guitarist and songwriter Wyatt McLaughlin, vocalist Storm Strope, bassist Anthony Madara, and drummer Christian Fisher, The Last Ten Seconds Of Life not only build on but stretch strenuously the seeds sown and bred on previous releases, the Justice EP of 2010, debut album Know Your Exits in 2011, and the Warpath EP of the following year. Invivo[Exvivo] takes everything to new impacting levels, its impressive savagery and inventiveness the band at a new vicious creative height. Released by Workhorse Music, it is fair to say that the album is not quite the perfect beast, at times missing a few opportunities in a torrent of successes to tantalise as it rips out the jugular, but there is never a moment or second offered which does not flare up the senses and passions into an excited state.
Engineered by Grant McFarland and produced by Carson Slovak (August Burns Read, Texas in July), Invivo[Exvivo] uncages Fertile Steps first to leap upon and savage the senses. The opening breath of the song is an antagonistic brawl and things only intensify as rhythms punch and slap with merciless and spite whilst riffs grind out insidious grooves around the impressive varied venomous squalls of Strope. From the first minute of his appearance the vocalist impresses and leaves ears as hungry for his destructive narrative as the carnivorous sounds around him. The track itself has a definite Slipknot meets Carcass feel at times but also with an unrelenting drench of Pig Destroyer saliva soaking the results.
The immense and thrilling start is soon taken up and further by False Awakening and the following A Dime A Dozen, both sonic carnivores which tear through the ears with an intensive heavyweight predation and rhythmic stalking. The first comes from the violent throes of demons, in tone and effect soaked vocals which mingle with the guttural spewing which spills bile with every outpouring. The track stomps as it comes to an early conclusion allowing a breath to be swallowed before its successor produces a pestilential fury of unpredictable and persistently shifting sounds and flavours. Grooves and carnal riffery are irresistible bait in the torrential contagion and malevolently cantankerous heart of the confrontation. It is the first major pinnacle of the album though not that many steps above what came before to be honest such the impressive start of the album.
Numbskull is the nasty spawn of a hard core and grind union; a track which rampages over and slowly preys on its victim with a continually switching creative intent, again a Slipknot like prompting with Devildriver animosity and Brutal Truth hatred a suggestive texture. It is a downtuned sonic pestilence easy to be consumed by and drool over as is the next up tide of ferocity The Face, a track which scars and seduces simultaneously though both abilities come with an untamed rapacious corrosion.
Morality emerges from a winding sonic enticement initially before placing itself intimidatingly around the ears to take rhythmic and melodically bred violent swipes. It is a striking entrance but soon losing a part of its compulsion as it employs spoken vocals/sample within a maze of guitar sculpted descriptive noise. The track is strong and constantly slipping in a prod at the appetite but is devoid of the spark which made the previous tracks so irresistible. Arguably the song is too adventurous for its own good and certainly there is not the same fluidity linking all its imagination as that impressive elsewhere on the release. Its ‘weakness’ is instantly amended by Haste Makes Waste and Deadfast though, the first a magnetic tsunami of intensity speared by a great and varied swinish vocal delivery from Strope yet again. The second of the two is another best track contender, niggling hypnotic grooves opening up the throat of the song before its roar and ferocity storms the barricades with a delicious part hardcore, part industrial metal, and all extreme metal esurience. Relentlessly twisting its body and potent resources around and within itself, it is an exceptional blitz of ideas and flavouring which just gets better and better with a great sludgy intensity to its closing incitement.
To be honest Skeletal took more time than any of the songs to fully convince, though it’s impossibly black and malignant heart and lethal sonic emprise was swift in its captivation. Eventually it did prove itself to be one of the strongest hatefully impressive blessings on the release. Its triumph makes way for the closing Ego Death, a seven minute plus infestation of grooves and rancorous imagination which gnaws away at and suffocates the senses with the densest malevolence jaundiced assault on the album. It completes in Invivo[Exvivo] an outstanding , absorbing, and invigorating intrusion which without being the complete devil is a demon record to make The Last Ten Seconds Of Life your next best brutal friend.
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