ASCENDED DEAD - Abhorrent Manifestation
May 13, 2017, 6 months ago
(Dark Descent Records/Invictus Productions)
Debut full-length from San Diego death metallers Ascended Dead here (although a few of these songs are re-worked demo and EP cuts the faithful will recognize), and it only takes a few seconds into killer opening cut “The Promised Time” before it becomes readily apparent that these guys fit in very well with Dark Descent's roster of ugly and pure death metal bands. I approve of the raw, bestial approach to songs like the totally reckless “Blood Thirst”, which brings to mind some of the early Brazilian masters at their finest; elsewhere, Ascended Dead channel sewer-grade American death with ease, the band grinding and blasting through the depths with much glee.
I love how the album just steamrolls on, no song really letting up or sounding any better or worse, or different, than the one before or after it. It's just forward momentum all the way, “Ensnared for Eternity” doing the trick as well as “Fissure Of Chaos” as well as any other cut, the whole thing grimy and arriving at a midpoint between Autopsy and Incantation, which is, really, a very sweet spot to be. And don't let me exaggerate on the similarities between tracks here: “Dormant Souls” is an acoustic guitar interlude (!), and it sounds actually surprisingly great in the middle of a raw death metal record. Go figure.