Not stocked up with big surprises but certainly offering enough to keep expectation feeding a limited exercise, Beyond The Veil of Flesh the debut album from Swedish death metallers Gluttony, is a voraciously intensive provocation which leaves needs and wants from an extreme metal release thoroughly satisfied. Bred and staying tightly to the origins of their country’s death metal scene, the eight track foraging of the senses is a rigorously carnivorous and accomplished slab of deathly predation; a release unafraid to thrust a vicious rhythmic knife laden with annihilatory riffing to the soul before twisting it around and around with the most virulently addictive grooves. As mentioned it is not a release to leave originality raging through the veins but definitely one to ignite a blaze of passion and pleasure from its unfussy and uncompromising enterprise.
Gluttony was formed in 2009 by guitarist Anders Härén of My Own Grave as a solo project. Subsequently linking up with fellow band members from his main band in bassist Max Bergman and drummer John Henriksson, the new project recorded the Coffinborn demo. Initially vocals were handled by Härén but unhappy with the results, Gluttony enlisted vocalist Johan Jansson (Interment, Regurgitate, ex-Demonical) for the 2012 release, though a cover of Paint It Black on the record features Härén on vocals. Two of the tracks from the demo, Coffinborn and Eaten Alive, were released a year later as the Eaten Alive EP on Metal Fortress Entertainment. The same year saw the band sign with Vic Records for their debut album, the recording of which saw the departure of Jansson due to the long distances needed to be covered by the vocalist, Magnus Ödling (Setherial, ex-Diabolical) coming in to replace him. Mixed and mastered by Dan Swanö (Edge Of Sanity, Bloodbath), and wrapped in great cover art from US cult horror comics artist Jeff Zornow, Beyond The Veil Of Flesh is an encounter sure to draw eager attention and deserved appetite to the band and its primal sound.
The Revenant opens up the graveyard carnage and instantly is smothering the ears in ravenous riffs and crippling rhythms as the guttural malice of Ödling crawls venomously over the senses. It is a heavyweight pressure which has attention wide awake and imagination cowering in its pestilential drama. Within this though spears of acidic short and longer vivaciously winding grooves vein and ignite the passions, it all converging into one torrential tempest of raw and rabid incitement. It is a masterful entrance into the release, portentous and magnetic bait which the following title track emulates in its own malicious sonic tyranny. Though still squeezing out grooved enticements the track is a darker slice of rapacious causticity than its predecessor, its tempestuous corrosion of sound heavier in intensity and broader in ruinous endeavour. Henriksson is a rabid task master with his swinging beats whilst vocally Ödling crawls with demonic intent but it is the creative toxicity of Härén which steals the show.
Next up Eaten Alive stalks with depraved intent within its laboured gait but is soon throwing out its own contagious grooves inciting body and passions to stomp just as venomously. The ridiculously dark throated call of Bergman’s bass simply inspires the imagination from within the brawling provocation of the song whilst the predacious snarl and gnaw of the guitar provides a colour to the fearsome narrative which is every bewitching shade of black. Whether it is right to say or not but the song is also ridiculously anthemic though these jaws have yet to taste flesh.
Both Raise the Dead and Coffinborn unleash severe expulsions of brutality, the first providing an exhaustive unrelenting grind of niggling grooves and gorging riffs plundered by carnal rhythms whilst its successor with similar voracity worms its rancorous toxin of chunky riffs and spiteful grooving into the psyche to seduce and savage with simultaneously untethered contempt. As with all songs, Gluttony have a glorious ability to have their songs stalking and prowling the listener’s inner depths whilst still producing a swagger which enlists the fullest physical and emotional allegiance as proven again by Post Mortem Decapitation. In comparison to other songs, the rhythms at the start of the fury are almost kind in their assault though that soon changes as the ferocity of the guitars and bass release their hateful enterprise. Vocals again are as pleasingly nasty and primitive as the erosive rampage around them, a vindictive stew of hostility which helps the track brew the pinnacle of the album.
The release is completed by firstly the just as insatiably riveting And Then You Rot and lastly the pestiferous On the Slab. The first of the pair is a senses embalming pestilence which is as unforgiving as it is magnetically persuasive though it lacks the spark of certainly the previous couple of songs, whilst the closing track is another to seep predator like into pores and thoughts like an insidious malady where it then expels all the addictive inhospitable energy and infectious creativity you could wish for. It is a tremendous finale to a thoroughly captivating and thrilling encounter. Yes there is little new breaking through from within Beyond The Veil of Flesh yet plenty to put hordes of fellow old school explorers in the shade, but truthfully when it sounds this good who cares anyway.
Beyond The Veil of Flesh is available through Vic Records @ http://www.vicrecords.com/ now!
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