Review Summary: A relatively unknown act unleash an absolute beast of an album. Ten tracks of downright nasty groovy death metal, laced with rhythmic technicality and some truly ferocious vocals.
December create some incredibly heavy music. The relatively unknown outfit are a combination of groove metal, death metal and grind. Since there isn't a review for this album as of yet, I thought I'd take it upon myself to write one. First things first - right off the bat, you know this band mean business. Album opener Icenine
is centred around a monolithic groove riff - the vocals are scathing, the drums are devastating and the overall feel of the song is that of controlled chaos. I'd liken the band to a more sane Dillinger really - elements of grind shine through, with tracks such as Waiting for Rain
comprising of blastbeats, syncopated rhythms and complex instrumentation throughout. The album is relentless, leaving the listener battered in its wake. Host
begins with a dissonant guitar riff, before exploding into an amalgamation of driving groove and even bursts of scattered melody. The vocals are a force to be reckoned with, ranging from throaty roars to ear-piercing high screams. Every track on The Lament Configuration
has something to offer. Each follows a similar formula, with plentiful supplies of rhythmically complex guitar work and some truly mesmerizing drumming. Some of the double bass pedal patterns reach astonishing speeds and the constantly shifting timings and tempos are a feat to be admired.
The Sleeping Throne
contains a lot of staccato (stop-start rhythms) and is yet another example of the bands' inventive mix of groovy death metal and grind. Whilst everything sounds very similar (it can be difficult to distinguish tracks on the first couple of listens), the quality of the music on offer is second to none. One thing that is for sure, this is some truly leviathan-esque metal. Without sounding too grandiose, this is some of the heaviest music I've heard - the guitars are sometimes groovy, then all of a sudden they shift into a catharsis of dissonant grind. Token Gesture
is a definite highlight, featuring some absolutely sickening riffs laden with groove and menacing heaviosity. Play Dead
slows things down a bit, with a slew of dissonant guitar chords before shifting into a monstrous set of riffs in God knows what time signature. Throughout the album, no track is too long or too short - they all provide great material in mostly three or so minutes apiece. Album closer The Quiet Cold
simply emphasizes everything that the band is about - tight blastbeats, great riffs that lock you into a groove and an absolutely manic vocal performance that places emphasis on ferocity.
Overall, The Lament Configuration
is as consistent as it is brutal. As mentioned previously, every track has something to offer and there are plenty of superbly executed and well penned riffs to keep you interested. The vocals are menacing and everything slots nicely together to form an absolute diamond gem of an album. December certainly may not be the most renowned or well known act but this release shows that they too can write a damn good death metal/grind album. Well worth checking out, especially those whom are looking for a sonically extreme sound.