Sunday, February 22, 2015

Insepulto - The Necrodex [2015]

Latin death and thrash metal has always been a thing of intrigue for me. Though I've been tempted to plunge into the depths of a humble scene filled with top notch old school outfits like Korzus, Mortem, Atomic Aggressor, Krisiun and of course Sepultura, I never felt fully committed to a proper scrutiny of the scene in particular. With each band member having years' worth of experience with other, equally obscure acts, Insepulto is one of those acts which surely has the potential to stamp the name of old school Latin death metal on the 21st century, and their debut, ''Morbid Spawn of Resurrection'' was in no shortage of skill and the savory aesthetics of death metal antiquity borrowed from some 20 years ago.

This is both clinical, punishing proto-brutal death metal and equally on par with creepier advocates of genre such as Obituary, Death, Autopsy, taut with precision and absolutely unflinching in delivery. In retrospect, it certainly feels adherent to the same textbook by which the debut played, but these guys do a good job of writing fairly varied and hooking riff work which falls somewhere between ''Bloodthirst'' ear Cannibal Corpse in terms of brutality and technicality and Autopsy circa 1989-91 in sheer ghastliness. The drums are just amazingly neat: they definitely stand out but don't feel as 'modern' as, say Hail of Bullets or Decapitated, and get some excellent, audible fills here and there, and not to mention the sheer thrumming pleasure the kicks give. The vocals are Deicide-esque in their mannerisms, ranging from guttural Craig Pillard lows to raspier growls where the rather comical broken English is more audible, justifying comparisons to early Sepultura, Mortem and other well-known Latinos.

While songs like ''Cremated Alive'' or ''The Morbid Spawn of Resurrection'' are penalizing in any way a brute neanderthal would want, fell of twisted yet fleshy guitar riffs and morbid melodies, there are lengthier tracks here like ''Ars Magna in Evisceratus'' that weigh double in creepiness and death/doom dementia, moving along mid-paced rhythms with a heavier focus on atmosphere. I couldn't fully appreciate these compositions however, because these guys are evidently better at fast, chug-filled tempos and crushing tremolos than anything, even though I was had considerable fun in pretty much every song. There isn't a huge refinement in terms of originality when compared to the debut album, so certain moments lacked the horrific shock value of it which made about half of the songs here slightly underwhelming. Overall, it can't be denied that the Costa Ricans have their own nifty brand of death metal by fusing melodic elements with some of the classical components of Floridian brutality, even with rare hints of the Swedish faculty (''Grand Black Messiah'' is a great example of all these influences melding together) and it's hard not to enjoy the majority of this record if you're a fan of early 90's death metal, even if it doesn't emerge as great as the debut. And, assuming  that Lovecraftian metal is your bag, (why shouldn't it be?) there's no point in not adding ''The Necrodex'' to your playlist.

Grand Black Messiah
The Return of the Impious 
The Morbid Spawn of resurrection
Cremated Alive (Together we will)

Rating: 75%

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