Review Summary: Short and dirty, 'Implements...' modernises the 90s Finnish death metal scene - a bit.
Considering that Warp Chamber find themselves in the small yet extremely high quality subset of sci-fi death metal, the Pacific Northwest band simply add another layer of doubt in whether the style (which honestly, may or may not exist outside the minds of pathological categorisers like me) even has a set sound to draw from. Its main point of connection to bands such as Tomb Mold, Wormed, Blood Incantation et al are the practically indecipherable vocals, which to their credit do sound like the birthing throes of some subterranean, writhing mass outside the comprehension of human biologists – a damp gurgle occasionally breaching out into a spewing yell or a short, sharp shriek. Do these vocals contain a connection to the sci-fi genre lyrically? Who knows. They sound like no words I know. Outside this, and the fantastically gory ‘living spaceship’ art that adorns its cover, there’s really not a lot that would give it away as having any leanings towards science fiction whatsoever.
What it is
, at least ostensibly, is a murky, chunky dive into the Finnish death metal style championed by Convulsed, Abhorrent and Depravity in the first half of the 1990s. Solos are short and scarce, serving as only the shortest relief from the otherwise barrelling walls of distortion, cymbals and omnipresent gurgles which take up most its neatly packaged half-hour of runtime. While a solid portion of the riffs on show are fairly standard oldschool fare, they’re interspersed effectively between sections of driving hardcore chugs (around the two-minute mark of opener ‘Abdication of the Mind’ is undoubtedly designed more for the pit than extraterrestrial musings) and occasional forays into death-doom climes. Regular changes of sway and rhythm keep tracks bubbling over long enough that Implements of Excruciation
isn’t ever a boring listen if you’re a fan of the seemingly never-ending wash of OSDM revivalism, although detractors of the field may find themselves growing weary by the end. Ironically, the most individual track is the one which notably draws on a single influence; closer ‘Exultant In Chthonic Blasphemy’ draws on Finland’s perhaps most iconic death export, Demilich, by virtue of its serpentine riffs and laissez-faire attitude to when sections start and end. Nevertheless, it’s not so much a complete aping as a successful synthesis of more ‘conventional’ Finnish fare and a style which has very little similarity to anything else. That’s more what Implements...
is – Warp Chamber taking the bassy, muddy soup of old and livening it up with whatever they see fit, be it big-stepping, tough guy chugs or angular melody. The sci-fi stuff? Window dressing. That artwork is