July 26, 2019

Scorn Coalescence - Serpents Athirst / Genocide Shrines / Trepanation / Heresiarch

Cyclopean Eye Productions, a label out of Bangalore, present Scorn Coalescence, a four-way split of blistering death metal. The first two bands hail from Singapore, while the latter two are native to New Zealand.
By Bryan Camphire.

Artwork by Roger Moore.

Cyclopean Eye Productions, a label out of Bangalore, present Scorn Coalescence, a four-way split of blistering death metal. The first two bands hail from Sri Lanka, while the latter two are native to New Zealand. Taken together, the songs capture death metal's potential to be momentous and captivating, the kind of release that you wish was twice as long.

First up is "Poisoning the Seven", by Serpents Athirst. The song feels like an anthem from its opening bars. A minute in, they ratchet up the intensity and the tempo, recalling the relentless death metal of early 2000s Brazilian acts like Rebaelliun and Abhorrence. There is an urgent intensity to the emotions on display here. The track is brimming over with malevolence in its smoldering attack.

Genocide Shrines darken the mood with, "All and/or Nothing". The bass is at least as loud as the guitars and its bombast spews forth with the relentlessness of a Gatling gun. The whole cut is the sound of being ground to a paste on concrete underfoot. Yet for all its teeming antipathy, the music is also painstakingly measured and precise. Its explosiveness is calculated, set off with iron-fisted control.

Trepanation slow things down on "B/H/T". Just when you feel like you're on solid footing vocals and blast beats are thrown over your head and tied tight with rope, as you're tossed into the trunk of a car. The music careens along in fits and starts. When things slow down, an accompanying feeling of dread sets in as you anticipate the violence around the next corner, forced to manage the suspense and catharsis.

Heresiarch close off the split with "Dread Prophesy", a coughing erratic piece of death metal. Fast, confident and careening, it shows how the band's prowess for detailed sprawling death metal takes no prisoners in its assault. Frequent rhythm changes beg repeated listens while sacrificing none of the music's immediacy.

The record as a whole vouches for these four bands' abilities to convey destruction and death distilled into a unique powerful display. This release should leave little room for doubt that this is an era of strong uncompromising death metal. Coming from four bands from extreme ends of the underground, Scorn Coalescence is a vitally concentrated offering.

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