Our good friends at Crawling Chaos Productions have managed to spew forth the first EP from Vilifier, a death metal band from the land down under. “Ritual Obscuration” is not for the faint of heart. In fact, despite being death metal, the production is much more suited for black metal. As the drums smash away, there is the feeling that the mics were left intentionally far away from the drums to create an echoing sound, not unlike many rawer black metal bands. The vocals have a similar effect to them. Both instruments tend to stay in the background in favour of putting forth the guitars, and that was really the correct choice on “Ritual Obscuration” because the guitar tone is lethal. When you think of a buzzsaw guitar tone, Razor or Destruction probably rightfully come to mind, but Vilifier has created something even more deadly on this release. It is never more evident than in the first track, which spends much of its time tremolo picking, and it sounds like each note that is picked is literally about to snap the strings of the neck of the guitar.
As you may have noticed, I’ve spent most of this review on production so far, and that’s because it is what rules “Ritual Obscuration”. These four tracks are not among the most memorable, but that’s not an issue for Vilifier because they still mix it up. The entirety of the EP isn’t spent blasting, nor is it solely tremolo picking (though there is a lot of that). Sometimes the band can slow it down, and though the drums may be distant, they use a variety of different beats and fills. You won’t really find much, if any melody beyond the lower rumbling riffs, but the end result is a cavernous sounding filth-ridden release, and given Australia’s history of war metal and black/death/thrash metal bands, it really shouldn’t be any other way. Vilifier is sure to appeal to all fans of truly putrid death metal, so this is one release you don't want to miss out on.
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All of it
4.0/5 or 80%.
Written by Scott