Three and a half years after unleashing the Shattered Ante Mortem Illusions EP, French death metallers Affliction Gate return with their most evil and gripping offering yet in the ruinous shape of Dying Alone. The four-track EP is a brutal and ravenous affair, but equally a compelling and at times contagious violation of old school death metal expanded with Affliction Gate imagination. The band is as vicious and uncompromising as ever but to that expected proposition adding a new exploration of bold textures, insidious emotion, and raw sonic trespasses.
Formed in 2006 with inspirations from the likes of Unleashed, Massacre, Bolt Thrower, and Asphyx sparking their ideas, Affliction Gate began proving themselves a formidable and potent force in the French metal underground with their first EP Severance (Dead to This World) in 2008 and more potently debut album Aeon of Nox (From Darkness Comes Liberation) a year later. Its release saw the band share their live presence across and beyond France into countries such as Germany, Spain, Holland, and Belgium, whilst the list of bands sharing stages with the quintet have come to include Pentacle, Mercyless, Svart Crown, Loudblast, Benighted and many more. Shattered Ante Mortem Illusions was an acclaimed proposition upon it’s uncaging in 2012 but already is being eclipsed by the response to Dying Alone.
Negative Lucidity leaps at the senses from its first breath; the opener a torrent of barbarous rhythms and toxic riffery twisted into a nagging groove that instantly has ears and appetite alert. The raw, bestial tones of vocalist Herostratos quickly lead the track’s animus of sound and intent, his intrusive delivery backed by the throaty threat of bass and entwined in the sonic trespass of guitar. Melancholy clings to the sonic suggestiveness expelled whilst despair clouds the air of the heavily satisfying incitement, those essences and hues just as rich and expressive in the following pestilential assault of Devising Our Own Chains. As its predecessor, the encounter is a challenging yet openly catchy violation bounding into the psyche on boisterously intrusive rhythms as guitars spin an acidic and virulent tapestry of rancorous bewitchment.
The EP’s title track comes next, flirting with the senses as it crawls closer and closer with cancerous intent. Led by the cantankerous tone of bass, the song subsequently grows into more volatile and eager infectiousness but still keeping its murderous breath and nature to the fore as its energy ebbs and flows in a consumption of the senses. Again a host of flavours collude within the song, more classic hues adding to the death bred malignancy.
The EP concludes with the misanthropic Manicheism Inertia, bad blood and rabid sound fuelling the contemptuous body and soul of the aural ravishing. The first two tracks within Dying Alone steal the show in many ways yet, as the song before, Manicheism Inertia has a nasty grandeur and incessant rabidity to its design which simply hits the spot.
Enjoyable on first listens and only growing to bigger success over time, Dying Alone is evidence that Affliction Gate is one of old school death metal’s emerging triumphs. Their new EP sees the band hit new heights, or should that be low corrosive depths, to get extreme metal off to a seriously strong start in 2016.
The Dying Alone EP is out now via Transcending Obscurity @ https://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com/album/dying-alone-death-metal
Pete RingMaster 06/01/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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