Review Summary: California newcomers deliver a solid piece of technical death metal. Quite a surprise given the fact that not only have they only released one EP before this debut, but also because Apocalyptic Feasting is all over the (fret)board with its instrumental an
Veteran Cannibal Corpse bassist Alex Webster doesn’t just hand out praise like a kindergarten teacher with gold stars. The guy has forgotten more death metal bands than most people will know about in their entire life. So when the promo for Brain Drill’s debut LP, Apocalyptic Feasting, arrived stamped with a quote from Mr. Webster stating that the California quartet is “truly raising the bar for technicality, velocity, and overall extremity in death metal,” the band clearly had a lot to live up to.
Thankfully, Brain Drill doesn’t disappoint. In the 35 minute run of this album, the barely three-year-old band lays down some of the most devastatingly technical death metal in recent years. It’s no wonder they were signed to Brian Slagel’s Metal Blade Records after just one EP.
After a brief intro recording of a buzz saw cutting into unknown material (bone, perhaps?), the band gets right to business on opener “Gorification.” Maddening guitar leads, solos and myriad wankery speed by in a blur, while underground drum legend “Lord” Marco Pitruzzella gives the death metal scene a lesson in blast beats done right. Gravity blasts, single footers and hyperblasts are just a few of the techniques at the human drum machine’s disposal. And no matter the complexity of the beats, he plays just about everything blisteringly fast. One listen to the album’s tile track is all any faithful DM follower needs to hear to know that Marco and his band are the real deal.
Despite the relative density of Apocalyptic Feasting, the album does have some moments of respite. The fairly simple riff at the beginning of “Revelation” is as melodic as tech death has ever gotten without crossing Gothenburg’s borders. But as promising as the previously mentioned tracks are, the real highlight here is album closer “Sadistic Abductive.” While the entire track is arguably the most complex display of musicianship on the album, the song’s final moments will likely be the most intense 30 seconds of death metal put to disc this year.
Apocalyptic Feasting is a menacing slab of death metal played at 300+ BPM. This album should be a staple of every DM freak’s daily diet of punishing, unrelenting music. Origin, Necrophagist and Hate Eternal better make a move fast before the new kids steal their thunder.