“Spawn of Misanthropy” is the new EP from Sweden’s Desolator. This release puts forth 4 tracks of hard-hitting old-school death metal worship, with the occasional new twist. It is a bit difficult to generalize the band’s sound because they manage to mix things up quite a bit. A great example is the first song on the EP, “Illusions of Grandeur”. This track spends much of its runtime as a more mid-paced, crushing Morbid Angel type song. It brings back memories of “Where The Slime Live”, as well as pretty much the entirety of the “Gateways to Annihilation” album. Of course, the song does have some speedier blasting moments in it, but it’s interesting to see a band try their hand at this unique sound because it is certainly less common than the cavernous-style of death metal that is more often played today. While Morbid Angel is probably not the most appropriate comparison for Desolator’s music as a whole, they are not dissimilar in their approach to death metal. In particular, Desolator does have some odd-sounding riffs that you wouldn’t hear from the majority of death metal bands.
“The Faceless God”, which is the second track on the EP, appears to be written in direct contrast to “Illusions of Grandeur”. It opens with some of the most intense blasting imaginable. Additionally, the song features very catchy lead guitar playing in the chorus (yes, there are choruses on this release), which is a technique that is also repeated on “Sectarian Breed”. This melodicism does set the band apart, but it also doesn’t dominate the music. Instead, it provides a refreshing change of pace from the more standard death metal sound. Interestingly, the closing 8-minute “Dark Epitaph” is probably the least memorable track, but it is still filled with compelling riffs, and it does have some atmospheric tendencies that the other songs lack.
From a technical standpoint, everything is up to par on “Spawn of Misanthropy”. The growls are demonic, often taking the lower-end of things, but occasionally also breaking out into higher-pitched screams (there’s an excellent raspy scream near the end of “Illusions of Grandeur”). The drumming is possibly the most impressive element of this EP. Not only is the playing extremely tight, but it’s also quite diverse, offering up plenty of unique beats and patterns. The guitar playing is perhaps not as dazzling as some technical death metal out there, but it is much better written than most death metal guitar work, and as a result, much more memorable. Sadly the bass is largely non-existent, but that has never really hurt this style too much in the past. Ultimately, “Spawn of Misanthropy” is one of the better releases in modern death metal, largely because the band has clearly put a lot of time into crafting great songs.
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"Illusions of Grandeur"
"The Faceless God"
4.4/5 or 88%.
Written by Scott