16 Sep 2016

Metal Gallows Triple Attack: Abominant, Morrow & Death by Fungi

Abominant (USA) – Napalm Reign (2016, Deathgasm Records)
To call Abominant yet another death metal band would not be doing them justice. This is a band that has been consistently been putting out solid material for the past 13 years. They have a total of 11 full lengths under their belt and while I can’t speak for the quality of all their releases, the work ethic of this band is very commendable indeed. Their 11th full length, titled Napalm Reign, was released earlier this year through Deathgasm Records, and here the band serves the audience a reminder as to why they are a band to pay attention to.
The album kicks off with sounds of an air raid and right out of the gate the band unleashes raw, old school death metal featuring buzzsaw guitars and typical death metal riffs. No Peace transitions into a groove oriented riff fest somewhere along the middle, treating the listeners to some pummeling downtuned savagery. Reborn Through Bloodshed follows a similar path to the opener and it is not until the third track Iron Clad that the true USP of Abominant shines through.

Starting from Iron Clad, Abominant start to exhibit their melodic side and this is not the type of overstaturated melody that takes away the death metal essence. There are obvious influences from traditional heavy metal and power metal, and the band incorporates these influences in a masterful way into their death metal framework. The result is an album that is equal parts brutal and catchy. This is something many death metal bands fail to achieve.
Napalm Reign is a solid release that has a lot of memorable moments and is bound to stay in one’s playlist longer than most death metal releases this year.

Morrow (UK) – Covenant of Teeth (2016, Broken Limb Recordings)
Punk and its derivative genres often get a bad rep among metalheads for being monotonous and not innovative. What these naysayers don’t see is the side of punk that makes emotive, moving compositions focusing on topics that one often doesn’t see in heavy metal. Case in point is Morrow. This collective from the UK play a form of crust punk that is heavy on the symphonic elements and one that takes a calculated approach to music as opposed to drowning the tracks in d-beat frenzies.

The band had released Covenant of Teeth earlier this year and this album is now picked up by Halo of Flies for a wider release. This is an album that deserves all the push it can get. The album touches upon topics like the human connection with nature and of ancient civilizations that understood and respected this connection. The music itself is a coming together of d-beat crust, emo overtones and grand symphonic arrangements.

In a span of 4 tracks, Morrow take the listeners on a journey that involves slow spoken word sections, symphonic dirges and crushing crust punk. While listening to this record, it becomes hard to ignore the artistic vision of the band that surpasses sub-genre boundaries. The cello features prominently throughout the record and offers a grandiose tone to the entire record. While long tracks are not very common in punk, Morrow pull it off with elan by packing in so many different elements in a single track.

If Morrow is not a name you are familiar with, then I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Covenant of Teeth, which is available for ‘Name your price’ download on their bandcamp page. You will not regret it.

Death by Fungi (India) – In Dearth Of (2016, Independent)
Death by Fungi have been holding the torch for hardcore punk in India for about a couple of years now. Their 2016 EP In Dearth Of is a lesson in how to do hardcore right. The short EP is chaotic, full of energy and highly engaging.

The band channel their influences like Converge and Code Orange in the right away so as to not sound derivative in any way. The chaotic riff progression is executed to perfection with just the right amount of melody to keep things interesting. The mix on this EP is flawless, which is to be expected considering it was done by Andy Nelson (Weekend Nachos).

In many ways the band breaks out of the typical hardcore mould to deliver a hard hitting EP that is fresh and engaging.The EP is available on the band’s bandcamp page and delivers kickass hardcore punk that is creative, well thought out and very fun. Death by Fungi manage to do so much more than most bands in just 11 minutes.

Written by Shrivatsan Ragavan (Courtesy of METAL GALLOWS)


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