Noise of Obstinacy is an album which if you are in the mind to, you can pick at for its lack of real originality and at times over reliance of certain sounds and textures within its ten ravenous offerings, but at the end of the day the debut album from French metallers Whisper of Death is still one unrelenting buzz saw of enjoyment. Neck muscles and flagging energies are the testament to that. Accomplished and rigorously captivating with a seemingly Cannibal Corpse and Cryptopsy inspired death metal voracity with flavoursome extras, band and album leave ears and appetite gratefully satisfied and often excited.
Whisper Of Death hails from Ablis, a small village south of Yvelines and were soon drawing potent local attention after forming with their live presence which has seen them support the likes of Manimal, Leng Tch’e, Pitbulls in the Nursery, Black Bomb A, the Spirit of the Clan, and Betraying the Martyrs. The quintet released first demo Desossage in 2008, an introduction well-received by the band’s fans and underground. Its unleashing though was followed by a low key period for the band which saw a line-up change and one of its guitarist involved in a serious accident when he was hit by a car. It was unsurprisingly a slow time for the band but as soon as they were able to return to full strength, Whisper of Death released second demo Epilepsy in 2012, followed by the resumption of the band’s live attack. Last year was predominantly given to the creating and recording of Noise of Obstinacy at Studio Dark Wizard with François Ugarte (Pitbulls in the Nursery). Mixed and mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music (Nile, Mastodon), the album was uncaged towards the end of 2014, pushing Whisper of Death instantly towards a new attentive recognition.
Cadaveric Discharge sets the ravaging off, emerging from a swarm of flies to grip ears and imagination with its artillery of lethal beats amidst a squall of savage guitars. It is a vicious entrance but equally a magnetic one with a contagious swing lining emerging grooves and ferocious riffing. The vocals equally grab attention, a dual assault bringing variety to the malevolent delivery of venom soaked words and growls. With all songs sung in French and being linguistically challenged, lyrical adventures are unknown but there is no mistaking the rancor behind them. Turning more bestial with every second, the track is a formidable and pleasing start to the album backed right away by Cemetery Market.
Almost mischievously toying with ears with a quirky sonic flirtation, the second track needs little prompting to throw off the masquerade and show its malicious intent; ragged riffs and hostile rhythms colluding in one precisely honed provocation which is unafraid at times to uncage its darkest animosity and in other moments turn on expectations with striking and slightly warped invention. Across the album there are definitely certain twists and moments of ingenuity which break songs away from feeding assumptions and showing recognisable influences, maybe not enough to be honest, but as here when it occurs even in brief temptations, it turns songs and album into a very potent and potential fuelled proposition,
Both Desossage and Organ Bath pleasingly stir up air and senses, the first a blaze of raw antagonism with shot gun cocks and virulent scourges of tangy grooving making tasty additives to the infectious turbulence around them. The second has a slower gait, virtually lumbering along with low slung grooves and barbarous rhythms. There is still a ferocious intensity and energy to the encounter of course, just with a more pestilential intent rather than rabid instinct. Each hits the mark of enjoyment if not making startling impacts; something the following OBF has far more success with through its avalanche of rhythmic brutality and sonic toxicity. The track is a glorious truculence of sound and attitude, every swing of drum sticks leading to deranged bait whilst venomous grooves provide a sonic straight jacket twisting the psyche with their enterprise. With no lesser a devilish persuasion from the raw vocals and dark hearted bass rabidity, the track is the most adventurous and strikingly unpredictable on the album, and further reason to suspect Whisper of Death will emerge from the crowd if not now some point in the future with this kind of adventure.
Happy Burial whips up a blistering senses flailing storm next, not quite emulating the endeavour of the previous track but creating a bedlamic tempest to easily devour and enthuse about before Surgical Strike unloads its rhythmic torpedoes and sonic rapacity. Once again the track feeds the wants and matches levels already breached by the album but just does not go far enough to forge something truly remarkable. Nevertheless with a great agitation and psychotic mania to the changing assaults of the drums as the bass again finds the most salaciously dark lines to seduce with, the track has attention and pleasure tightly grasped.
Torture for Dummies bounces around like a serial killer waiting its moment to strike, a certain glee and excitement driving hooks and riffs as well as the catchy stride it initially offers. Of course this all plays out within a harsh landscape of sonic cruelty and toxic emotion which is just as bracing as the creative turmoil within it and helps turns Cannibalism Airlines into a visceral theatre of torrential spite and violently wanton rhythms. The track is another major highlight of the album, guitars and bass a flurry of intimidation and fury in their own right.
Battlefield brings the exhausting brutality to an end but not before creating its own peak in the album with a battering of flesh scarring beats, intrusively lingering grooves, and noxious vocals. It is the lighter caustic flirtations of imagination and psyche twisted endeavour which ignite the song predominantly though and ensures the album ends on a real high.
Noise of Obstinacy is as its title declares, a release doing its own things with zeal and defiance. It is not trying to reshape the walls and originality of death and extreme metal but increasingly it thrills and leaves emotions blissful, and I know which I prefer.
Noise of Obstinacy is available now digitally and on CD @ http://whisperod.bandcamp.com/
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