It’s time to pull on those board shorts again because those German brutal surf-Death-Metal maniacs Stillbirth are back with another brutal concoction of Death Metal, Grindcore and Deathcore that will leave you bruised and bleeding from every orifice.
Stillbirth – Strain Of Gods (Unique Leader)
Release Date: 19 November 2021
Words: Jools Green
The searing six-track, twenty-minute Strain Of Gods, is a concept EP, which lyrically picks up where their 2020 album Revive The Throne left off.
“The Gladiators are scarred from battle,” the band said, “and they thirst for rest and relaxation. The new King organises a party on the beach for the Gladiators and their guests. The party escalates quickly, and then things happen that no one could have imagined before. What exactly? You’ll find out in the six brutally groovy songs. But something is brewing in the sky. The violence of nature will soon show its barbarous face.”
Strain Of Gods takes no prisoners as it opens with a full-frontal assault on your senses in the shape of the unbelievably brutal and crushing Ultimum.
Immediately you will notice Stillbirth have upped their game since Revive The Throne.
End to end, this EP is crammed with even more brutality but also delivered with groove. Thankfully they haven’t gone overboard with the slams, just enough for impact. Once again, they have gone with the double attack of two basses, topped off with a vocal delivery of squeals and growls.
The brutal pounding of your senses continues with Surfers Paradise. I love the emerging burst of drum work and the slightly ominous second half downturn.
Don’t be lulled into a sense of false security by the digeridoo opener on Double Fire, Double Fun. It’s still a track that will still sear the flesh off your face. I like this track a lot. It’s a touch slower, it’s crunchy and packs a punch and the vocals also go up a few octaves in places to an acerbic hiss adding an extra dimension.
Skinned By The Sun is a fascinatingly complex offering, one minute delivered at a breakneck pace, and the next, it’s brutally crushing.
On You Can’t Kill Us, the big surprise is the sudden burst of squealy leadwork just after the track opens, bursting out of the opening growl in complete contrast, courtesy of Lwandile Prusent, guitarist extraordinaire from Vulvodynia. Prusent adds a whole new slant and dimension.
The final piece, Strain Of Gods, is a superb track that hides another surprise. The first half is the standard aural assault you’ve experienced for the previous eighteen minutes. Midway it switches into something relaxing, bluesy and mellow and a little bit “wonderfully widdly”, I suspect once again coming from the skilled fingers of Lwandile. But don’t get too chilled because the final thirty seconds revert to a sensory assault of growls and crushing grooves.
The humorous, surf and zombie artwork is once again by Aghy Purakusuma.
There is also sad news linked to the release of Strain Of Gods with the very recent and untimely passing of the bands bass player Dominik “Pumpa” König, so remember him as you listen.