Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Putrevore - Macabre Kingdom

Roger "Rogga" Johansson has always been a hyperprolific musician. He's a member of quite a few bands, including but not limited to Bloodgut, Bone Gnawer, Demiurg, Paganizer, Putrevore, Ribspreader, The Grotesquery, and the obvious Revolting. With Halloween right around the corner, who doesn't want to celebrate with some horror-schlock themed death metal? Nobody. That's why I'm going to review some of this guy's 2012 works.

Putrevore comes first as one of his more interesting, slightly (I stress slightly) less traditional acts.

Macabre Kingdom caught me off guard. This is a punishingly dark album. Remember the first time you heard a blast beat or a dirty chromatic riff littered with well-placed pinch harmonics? You can actually get a bit of that feel on this album with how pummeling and aggressive the drumming and production is. The vocalwork is deep, guttural, and not unlike Chris Weber's in obvious old school influences Rottrevore. Macabre Kingdom goes well beyond the simplicity of being a revival effort though if just in its modernized intensity.

As a complete experience, Macabre Kingdom will take you through hurdles of death metal ferocity. There's a degree of subtlety in the dense sound as well. From time to time a synthesizer harmony pops up that is properly utilized to enhance the sound and add texture, such as during the tremolo riffing at the end of the second track "The Mysteries Of The Worm (Part II)." Other tracks are more blurry but immersive, keeping you actively engaged with little flourishes and nuances. "Beyond Human Comprehension," "The Mysteries Of The Worm (Part I)," and "Universal Devourer" all play like this and are some of the more blistering on Macabre Kingdom.

Macabre Kingdom takes a turn for the chuggy during it's second half, and Putrevore often falls into groove-laden sections that do work well with the potent production. "Awaiting Awakening Again," "The Tentacles Through Time," and closer "Tattooed Skin Map" all feature sections of down-tuned chugging or bends. It could be seen as a breather from the more speed-oriented tracks of the first half, but the speed is irrelevant to Putrevore. The second half smashes like a hammer before descending into a berserk frenzy and they often compliment the occasional doomy passage with a good double bass session.

The heaviness of this album is attributable to the production and mixing. Harmonics split eardrums, the kicks actually have bass, and the distortion is all-enveloping. The guitars are mixed to carry the weight of the music, the cymbals are low-key, the snare is pummeling and always present, and well...the bass is just there Rottrevore influence be damned.

Macabre Kingdom is a death metal titan in the year 2012. Even for old school death metal which has seen plenty of great albums over the past few years, this album stands head and shoulders above the majority as one of the few worth actually giving a damn about. Also it doesn't sound directly like fucking Incantation.

8.75 out of 10


1. The Mysteries of the Worm Part I
2. The Mysteries of the Worm Part II
3. Beyond Human Comprehension
4. Universal Devourer
5. Awaiting Awakening Again
6. The Morbid Mass of Swarming Entities
7. The Tentacles Through Time
8. Tattooed Skin Map

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