Review Summary: I'll take an order of pounding your face into dust with a little Canadian bacon on the side, please.
To say I was expecting such prowess from a debut death/doom album out of the small city of hockey fanatics and natural gas (not farts, you immature f*cks) in southeastern Alberta as is shown on Rites of a Death Merchant
would be a lie. A fat, steeping, bold-faced lie like to say Lanny McDonald's fiery above-lip isn't impressive. If you don't know who Lanny McDonald is, well then you are just not Canadian enough for me. Suffice to say that the man's mustache should probably be illegal for how elite it is. Anyways, in a convenient sense, the first two adjectives listed in the second sentence describe this rather devastating slab of misanthropy as well as any. If you're looking for an engrossing and truly suffocating experience full of call-backs to the giants, you've come to the right place.
Over the course of five meandering and pummelling cuts of meat, the members of Nephilim's Noose throw just about everything one could expect out of an offering of this caustic nature, bringing to mind such wretched creations from the past as Spina Bifida's Ziyadah
and diSEMBOWELMENT's Transcendence Into the Peripheral
. Bellicose, mid-paced death metal intertwines with trudging, subterranean doom underneath throaty, phlegmy growls and mid-pitched, caustic rasps that add the coup de grace in exemplary fashion. Semi-melodic, sinister tremolo and foreboding clean guitar evoke some references to the Finlanders of old, as does the near-perfect mastering that a certain Musta Seremonia
might shake a stick or two at. Seriously, this low (and by low, I mean the core of the Earth) end is mean as f*ck
, and the bass drum punches your chest like the hammer of a pissed-off demon. Just how it should be.
A sense of eeriness is yielded in the songwriting that, while the songs themselves are fairly expansive, keeps intriguing through the record's length. The one misstep may seem to be the chanting section accented by funeral bells that leads the final track of the album, However, one will subsequently find that it actually feeds so fluidly into a crescendoing snarl and more doomy massifs, that the choice can be forgiven. Just give one listen to the disturbing wretching that takes place on top of an thundering tank of a riff around halfway through the nine minute mark. That pretty much tells the story of this plundering, skull-shaking offering.
Rites of a Death Merchant
shows a band matured beyond their years. In their sophomore year after becoming established, these tyrannic stalwarts have somehow crafted an LP that stands very strongly amongst the best of recent years that death/doom has to offer. A disservice is being done to oneself to be ignoring such a well-crafted exhibit. So put aside your copy of Eroded Corridors of Unbeing
that you have been spinning and give this thing a shot. Another band in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains is calling from the depths.