April 3, 2017

Extremity - Extremely Fucking Dead

By Matt Hinch. As an album reviewer (I don't like calling myself a writer) I get inundated with promos all day. You have to throw up filters. There's just too much sometimes. One filter is “fucking” in the title. So initially I passed on Extremely Fucking Dead, the debut from old school death metal quartet Extremity.
By Matt Hinch.


As an album reviewer (I don't like calling myself a writer) I get inundated with promos all day. You have to throw up filters. There's just too much sometimes. One filter is “fucking” in the title. So initially I passed on Extremely Fucking Dead, the debut from old school death metal quartet Extremity. Then someone said how awesome it was. Someone whom I don't consider a huge death metal fan. So I looked it up again and remembered who was in the band. Then I felt stupid for my language-based culling process.

I felt stupid, you see, because I'd read about the band and forgotten. Not that a band deserves preferential treatment based on membership but(!) when those members are Erika Osterhout (Necrosic, Trepanation) on bass, Shelby Lermo (Vastum) on guitar and vocals, Aesop Dekker (VHOL, Worm Ouroborous, etc. ad infinitum) on drums, and Marissa Martinez-Hoadley (Cretin, Repulsion) on guitar, it becomes a mandatory listen for any metal fan worth their weight in salt. I will admit however, that I didn't know Erika previously but I'll probably check out her other bands considering how well she meshes with the three known unfuckwithable talents on this album.

Now in terms of personal taste I prefer my death metal on the simple side. No grand dissonance, mind-altering weirdness or juvenile pig squeal antics. Meat and potatoes death metal is where it's at. Sick riffs, guttural growls and bruising percussion. Something you can bang your head to. Those attributes make up Extremely Fucking Dead. And it's extremely fucking good. Regardless of membership Extremity found that sweet spot where death metal can be both brutal and fun, but also both “easy” and not boring. It's a hard task to think inside the box in a saturated genre and still come up with something that rises above the masses and punishes you over and over and over again.

That's one of the album's best qualities; listenability. No matter how many spins this gets it doesn't get stale. The pugilistic riffs just get better the more familiar they get, worming their way into your head only to strike from within when your mind's defences get lowered. Plus, they're varied. Extremity mix up the tempos very well. Take the title track for example. One minute they're laying down a simple, heavy riff with a nice heaviness, next it's a little-better-than-mid-paced with some groove and the next it's pummelling speed set to break necks, hoist invisible oranges and shred throats. It's a strong finish – as strong as the start ("Crepuscular Crescendo") – with the sinew holding the ends together no weaker.

Let's not forget the solos, please. Not only are the solos themselves great on their own but the band have placed them pretty much perfectly and they never overstay their welcome. They elevate the tunes and don't feel shoehorned in in the slightest. The punch comes right when it should and the knees weaken in kind.

Basically, Extremely Fucking Dead is a killer death metal album from a group of seasoned vets. Other highlights include “Chalice of Pus” (especially the solos) and “Fatal Immortality” but there are really no weaknesses here. I'm terrible at comparing death metal bands (because I don't listen to enough “classic” death metal) but when bands like Extremity put out an album like this, you shouldn't feel the need to listen to something old. Just listen to this! Again and again until you’re extremely fucking dead.

Tagged with 20 Buck Spin, 2017, death metal, Extremity, Matt Hinch
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