Wednesday 21 May 2014

Alterbeast - Immortal (Album Review)

Album Type : Full Length
Date Released : 18/3/2014
Label : Unique Leader Records

Immortal track listing :

1). Flesh Born Text 05:54
2). Of Decimus Divine 02:36
3). Vile Remnants 05:06
4). Ancient’s Retribution 03:34
5). Mutilated Marvel 03:25
6). Into Oblivion 02:38
7). Serpentspire 02:45
8). Throne of Maggots 03:57

Bio :

Sacramento technical death metal militia, ALTERBEAST, is pleased to unleash their full-length debut via Unique Leader this Spring! Titled Immortal, the eight track monster offering was meticulously assembled in several locals throughout 2013. With guitars and bass recorded at Augmented Audio in Los Angeles with former The Black Dahlia Murder bassist Ryan “Bart” Williams, vocals arranged at Mayhemeness Studios in Sacramento by Bob Swanson (Rings Of Saturn) and drums tracked at Castle Ultimate Studios with Zack Ohren (Light This City, All Shall Perish, First Blood, Cattle Decapitation, Warbringer et al), who also mixed and mastered the release, Immortal promises to deliver some of the most dynamic, instrumentally adept and plainly crushing material of the year.

Elaborates vocalist Cam Rogers of the outcome: “Immortal is what was spawned from hard work, dedication, and downright brutal musicianship. It has intricate solos, absolutely crushing interludes and brutal circle-pit anthems. ALTERBEAST sets the scene with grievous piano preceding the onset of ‘Flesh Bound Text’ which comes in with blistering drums and guitars effortlessly making their way around the fret board. Every piece truly has its own personality on this record, whether it’s the apocalyptic soundscapes of ‘Ancient’s Retribution,’ the devastating aggression of ‘Vile Remnants’ or the unmerciful grooves in ‘Throne of Maggots.’ This album has something for every listener and comes together seamlessly to form as a breathtaking whole. Immortal is exactly what we intended it to be: a gripping and intense death metal album.”

The Band :

Michael Zamora | Bass
Cam Rogers | Vocals
Rusty Cornell | Guitars
Andrew Lamb | Guitars
Gabe Seeber | Drums

Review :

Listening to Alterbeast is like having a smorgasbord of riffs placed at your table.  Although relatively new to the technical death metal menu, these gents from Sacramento serve up some delights that make the mouth water and the ears bleed.  Their full-length debut ‘Immortal’ was recently unleashed upon the masses by Unique Leader Records and if you’re hungry for brutal, merciless musical rampages of truly eye-bursting intensity, you’ve chosen to dine at the right establishment. 

Alterbeast clearly doff their caps to the classic death metal of yore: if you’re a fan of Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse and Deicide, you’ll feel right at home with this new generation of eye-gougingly good tracks.  Have you ever listened to a band that is so intense, so technical, so out-and-out insane that their music seems to somehow transcend metal and go back to classical?  That’s how it feels like to me when I listen to some of Alterbeast’s songs: there are mauling movements, aggressive arias and pulverising passages to be found within these eight death metal behemoths. 

Still unsure of what the Hell I’m talking about?  Check out ‘Of Decimus Devine’: it roars like a bear, strikes like an MMA fighter, and yet has instances of such preternatural beauty sewn into its devilish fabric.  Take a listen for yourself; see if you feel the same. 

The epic track on offer on ‘Immortal’ has got to be ‘Vile Remnants’, for several important reasons.  Firstly: it’s over 5 minutes of unrepentant, unremitting death of the most venomous potency.  Secondly, its scope is vast: from its blasting opening – complete with Cam Rogers’ hissing, shrieking vocals – to its twin guitar exit, ‘Vile Remnants’ runs their entire gamut of technical death metal wizardry.  Finally, and most importantly: it fucking rips like an industrial bandsaw set to ‘shred’.  This is tech-death as perfect, as deadly as one can find it. 

That’s not to say that you should only listen to this song from the album.  Hell no: in fact, ‘Immortal’ is simply packed to the brim with gut-wrenching mosh-pit thrillers.  There’s the grinding, pinch-harmonic popping ‘Mutilated Marvel’, which lives up to its twisted title.  Or try ‘Serpentspire’, if you like your riffs (including tasty little bass solos from Michael Zamora) full of delicious percussive detonations, spry solos and guttural vocal roars.  Hell, don’t deny yourself: try them all out, and experience the righteous fury first-hand. 

Alterbeast is a band of malicious genius.  This California quintet has released an album onto the world which quite simply turned my speakers into the happiest smouldering pile of sludge you’ve ever seen.  If you’re lucky enough to catch them live, let them know they owe me a new set of speakers!  But in all seriousness, Unique Leader have signed themselves a sure-fire winner with Alterbeast: get ‘Immortal’ and fall in love with their music forever. 

Words by : Chris Markwell

You can get it here