Review Summary: Resurgency's debut album is a great example of old school US/Euro death metal, as it combines the best from both worlds.
If one attempts to cluster the contemporary death metal releases, it will become rather clear that the latter tend to file under two major trends, should the distinction between US and European death metal is left aside. On one hand, there are those outfits that have consciously entered the arena of instrument shredding and bizarre/progressive musical arrangements, while on the other, there are the old school acts which prefer to stick to the old ways, first conceived and cemented during the early-to-mid ‘90s. The chasm between the two trends is further extended to the way they sound, as the first category of bands tends to adopt a “thin”, almost plastic sound, whereas the old school kin prefers to reside solely within the dry and cavernous sound, as it was coined during the early-to-mid ‘90s on both banks of the Atlantic. Although some bands have chosen to walk along the fine interface between the aforementioned trends (Sinister, Nocturnus, Disincarnate and Morbid Angel are noteworthy examples), they are exceptions which justify the rule. Where do the above leave the newly found (in 2009) Hellenic death metal act of Resurgency? With their 2011 demo EP Dark Revival
, the band consciously placed itself in the intermediate stage between the US and Euro old school death metal hordes and their debut album, titled False Enlightenment
is a great example in that respect, as it combines the best of both worlds.
starts with “Craniums of Slain Disciples” and a melodic lead guitar riff that initially feels as “inappropriate” for a brutal death metal act. However, the moment the deep guttural vocals of John P. scream “Craaaaaniiiiuuuummmmmsssss” and the band’s blast beating death metal are treading the ears’ threshold with full force, all doubt as to where the band really files under is cast aside. As previously mentioned, Resurgency’s sound is a combination of the dismal, blast-beat-n’-double-bass US death metal of bands such as Brutality and Disincarnate with the European death metal of bands like Dismember or Grave. The sound production is also representative of the dry, cavernous sound adopted by both death metal schools, as the guitars sound thick and abundant in volume, the vocals seem like they are stemming from the depths of Kaiadas Deep (imagine the vocals in Hooded Menace), while the drums are a very careful mix of their natural sound and their corresponding triggering, in order for the dynamics to remain intact and not sound “plastic” at the same time.
What seems to distinguish the band in general, is the good balance between catchiness and technicality and the sparing use of lead guitars. The latter strongly bring in mind Brutality and Disincarnate, however, for the time being, Resurgency are not as proficient as the aforementioned bands, in terms of lead guitar playing or producing complex song structures. Commenting further on the band's song writing potential, it allows them in keeping things interesting up to the first half of the album plus 1-2 songs, but as the latter are piling up in the track list, a feeling of deja-entendu makes its appearance. This is not because Resurgency have lost steam or something, but due to fact that their style has sounded better in past and more historical releases. If the album contained 8 songs instead of 10, the afororementioned notion of deja-entendu would be greatly compensated.
Undoubtedly, False Enlightenment
is a great start for Resurgency. Having a good sense of experience from the participation in other local bands (Necrovorous and Embrace The Thorns), the current incarnation of the band is reliable in mixing the US and the Euro OSDM and producing interesting material. The rest of the story will be probably written on the road for these guys, as the chances of filling the slot in a good touring package with homologous bands are quite substantial.