'Mountains Of Dead' is the debut album from Kansas death/speed Metal quartet Marasmus. On first inspection the cover art serves as a warning of what is in store for your ears with the imagery of a bulldozer shovelling mountains of corpses into piles.
The album consists of ten tracks totalling twenty five minutes of concentrated and focused extreme Metal. This is very much a get in, get the job done and get out again album. The tracks flow from one to the next with no time to pause and catch your breath. Each is a full on assault.
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The first thing to hit you is an intense wall of sound that slams into you, face first, but after the initial shock from the sonic impact you quickly get into it because despite the intensity there are surprisingly catchy rhythms within the construct.
This album also makes a real impression, not just on your ears but on your mind, with lyrics that are both challenging and entertaining. This is brutal, pure speed, at times technical, with relentless pounding from the drums and the vocals ranging from gargling growls at one end to squeals at the other.
The opening intro, 'Among The Deceased' is an atmosphere builder with the sound of buzzing flies and crow squawks. You can almost smell the mounds of rotting corpses. The mood of death and decay is suddenly broken as 'Modes Of Vitriol' hits you with such a force that initially it's a shock but the feel and intention of the music soon becomes apparent and as extreme as it is, the fast furious yet catchy rhythms soon get inside your head.
Continuing at an insanely fast pace throughout, the core of several tracks including 'Gnostic Decimation' and 'Bone Sculpture' are constructed from a mix of chugging and spiralling riffs making them both catchy and exciting listening.
'Another Helpless Victim' has some interesting grind core influenced vocal squeals and sounds. I loved 'Shut The Fuck Up And Die'. It has a pulsating anthem like quality and I am seriously considering making it my own personal theme tune.
'Casket Made Of Ivory' is one of the most interesting tracks of the album with multiple twists and turns to the tempo.
Something that made a very positive impression on me was that despite the brutal, gargling vocal style, the lyrics were quite clear and easy to understand, much to my amusement on tracks like 'Syphilitic'. Definitely plenty of blackened humour here.
'Behold The Mountain' is an atmospheric precursor to the final and title track, 'Mountains Of Dead', which ends the album in the same intense manner that it began.
'Mountains Of Dead' is an exciting, intense chunk of extreme Metal and one thing is for certain - it will have an impact on you.
Definitely worth a listen. Go on, you know you want to... what's the worst that can happen?
'Mountains Of Dead' is out now on Disgorge Media.