Review Summary: Until The Whole World Dies is a tight, razor-sharp offering from a band that hasn't made many waves in the scene but are quickly coming into their own.
I discovered Conjonctive just recently when their 'male/female vocals' tag caught my eye. I tried to imagine a deathcore/death-metal album that threw female vocals into the mix, and I was intrigued. My palette was not prepared for what was to come, as it quickly became apparent that the band did not tap this vocalist for her feminine cleans like I had so foolishly assumed.
The opener I Spit On Your Grave promises wickedness with it's theatrical tone, drenching the brooding guitars with a swelling synth and piano harmony. As this intro transitions into a breakdown, you get the first glimpse of Sonia Kaya's pipes as she let's loose a chilling drawn-out scream from the depths of hell, punctuated at the end with a brief staccato roar. This transitions smoothly into a real barnburner, The Rise Of The Black Moon. After a brief guitar fill just bristling with tension, the track let's loose into the first of many blast-beaten death-metal salvos on the album.
There are very brief moments throughout this track in which Sonia's blackened screams seem to crack at the seams, revealing brief but tantalizing shards of what her clean vocals might sound like if she actually used them for more than 2 seconds at a time. It's incredibly sexy, revealing just a fraction of vulnerability when 99% of the time I'm convinced she just wants to make a jumpsuit out of my skin. I don't know how else to say it, but Sonia Kaya sounds absolutely demonic and hostile in a way that just makes this band pop like few deathcore outfits do these days. Even when fellow vocalist Randy Schaller drops some well-timed, nasty pig-squeels, his standard death-metal bark pales before his better half's gravel-crushing timbre. Thankfully he sticks to the background, adding depth and layers rather than hogging the spotlight.
Other gems include Emily Rose which bursts from the gate like a bucking bronco, and goes out on a rather vile pig-squeeling breakdown right out of the Despised Icon playbook. Victoria's Lake and Somnabulant Cannibal inject some chilling dissonant harmonies to build a hopeless, bleak atmosphere before battering you with breakdowns instead of going right for the jugular with their bread-and-butter chaotic death-metal onslaught. The former track in particular has an intoxicating intro instrumental section that strikes the sweet-spot between heaviness and melody and is sure to get the blood pumping.
The final highlight is Pray For Redemption which unleashes all the sharpest weapons in Conjonctive's arsenal, and even utilizes an uncharacteristic melo-death riff, creating a slight Arch Enemy flavour before the final breakdown locks into the stop-start swagger of a pulverizing military march. At this point Sonia might be screaming about the apocalypse, burning in hell forever for rape and murder, or being a zombie and munching on my spongy innards, it doesn't really matter. The only thing that matters is that Conjonctive has bite and conviction to spare.
There are no flashy solos on this album, no clean singing, no melodic interludes, just extreme metal laying waste to the faint of heart. On repeated listens, the same breakdown and the same tremolo death-metal riff do inevitably pop up with only slight variations, and things rarely get overly technical. However the songs are trim, the album clocking in at a crisp 30 minutes. It hits hard, fast, and moves on leaving you in the dust wondering what the hell happened. Though not groundbreaking, the execution is convincing and bloody all around with some of the best vocals in the genre. Until The Whole World Dies is a tight, razor-sharp offering from a band that hasn't made many waves in the scene but are quickly coming into their own.