Review Summary: Expect great things
With all the recent focus on quirky new speed metal platters gracing our turntables, this little quality pearl of death metal could get lost in the shuffle. Desolation Realm show wisdom beyond their years with this four-song EP, vicious enough to warrant repeat listens, sophisticated enough to suggest they’ve been weaned on prized black & white cassette relics of the golden era, and talented enough to grace this racket with a fresh draconian ethos. In other words - Ho-hum, another killer Norweigan band has arrived.
This one a four-headed dark steed bred from the cruel back alleys of Oslo churning out an exotic brutality, two guitars that throb with tragic lamentations and distant, feverish rattrap drumming bathed in reverb – dreadful in the most appealing way. The ursine roar of vocalist (Lian) never strays from howling barbaric crunk, but wisps of ghostly screams float around in the mix at random intervals. There’s enough going on between the stops and starts, plangent doomy interludes, and wicked guitar interplay to push the band into tech-metal territory, yet they always seem to reel it in, keep focus on the brutality first and foremost. When drummer Ola rolls across the toms, it’s like the blackened hooves of a thousand heavy horses pounding in the distance.
“Crypts of Decay” may be the strongest cut, storming right out of the gate with fits of dark power, but the real draw is those majestic harmonies poisoned with tritones, chiming and twisting between fits of trashy percussion. The 6+ minute epic “Sepulchral Nucleus” works itself into a fever pitch of shrieking guitars and steamrolling speed after a couple of minutes, suddenly downshifting into uphill-procession mode, space winds blowing, drums slowing, doors to other dimensions opening, gits sobbing with anguish as the track backbuilds and recalibrates for another crushing crescendo just around the corner.
My only criticisms are 1) the thing is just too short and 2) I can’t find a physical copy to buy. These guys are like the wretched spawn of Timeghoul and Incantation. Expect great things.