Release Title: Hunting Astral Prey
Label: Elegy Records
Genre: Black/Death Metal
1. Sadistic Astral Skullfuck
3. Hunting Astral Prey
4. Grotesque Mass of Tentacles and Eyes
5. Raped Celestial Body
7. Dark Matter
The second full-length from US black/death metallers Angelcide makes for a wholly impressive and dynamic effort here that manages to contain a lot to like overall Utilizing a heavy-handed form of raw black/death metal for it’s main weapon of attack, this one here gets plenty of mileage out of these two tactics here with the focus on the tremolo-picked rhythms that are so common to the scene whipping up a high-speed ferocious assault throughout here, alternating nicely with brief, concise efforts or more traditional rhythms. Alongside these fiery black metal segments there’s a hard-charging series of death metal rhythms keeping this one from going full-on black metal as there’s a raw edge generated here with these placed alongside the tremolo riffing, giving this a much more dynamic and impressive attack. While these here give this one a rather enjoyable attack,it’s all quite too easy to spot the flaw of this one as it’s mostly centered on the album’s final track which has a rather obvious problem about it. Not only does it by itself take up a third of the album’s overall running time doing nothing more than just incessantly beeping away, by itself a big problem but also going for so long that the album feels a little too short without much else placed on the album in order to keep that track on here. Otherwise this one isn’t all that bad.
The first half shows off the album’s strengths quite nicely. Album-opener ‘Sadistic Astral Skullfuck’ features a strong, chaotic series of blasting drumming and tight rhythms through primal, hellish patterns full of blazing speed and flowing ravenous rhythms with a chaotic bent throughout the finale for a strong, blistering opener. ‘Lurker’ takes a steady mid-tempo realm through tough, steady riffing with galloping death metal charge augmented by the hellfire-tinged rhythms blasting along the steady tempo throughout as the fiery rhythms keep the savage attacks and blistering tremolo patterns along throughout the chaotic final half for a strong highlight. The title track features swirling tremolo riff-work and pounding drumming continuing along through the series f mid-tempo rhythms as the blasting drumming and furious riff-work weave a series of steady chaotic rhythms around the fiery tremolo patterns in the blasting full-throttle final half for another wholly impressive effort. Instrumental ‘Grotesque Mass of Tentacles and Eyes’ takes a steady mid-tempo series of swirling riffing and simplistic drumming gradually turns into explosive tremolo riffing swirling around dynamic drumming and plenty of speed-driven rhythms as the blasting takes over for a decidedly decent mid-album break.
The second half here is decidedly weaker with a few problematic areas but still is enjoyable enough. ‘Raped Celestial Body’ takes a steady, sprawling series of riffing with a light series of tremolo riffing full of plodding, lethargic tempos augmented with tight, chaotic rhythms and plenty of frantic drumming with a steady stream of thrashing up-tempo rhythms leading into the finale for a somewhat enjoyable effort if too bland and boring at times. ‘Mauler’ begins with blasting drumming and tight, ferocious riff-work full of ravenous death metal patterns accented with fiery tremolo-pattern riffing through a series of chaotic mid-tempo blasts as the thunderous drumming blasting along through the galloping tempos along the final half for a certainly enjoyable effort. Lastly, the monolithic epic-closer ‘Dark Matter’ takes a sampled beeping button against crushing celestial soundscapes for the duration of the track which gets tiresome and utterly irritating with the incessant beeping for as long as it goes and really ends this one on a sour note.
Despite one big flaw overall here that does seem to hinder this one somewhat, the rest of the album offers up plenty of ravenous and raw black/death metal that’s enjoyable enough to make for an appealing time for all fans of the style or can put up with that flaw to enjoy some savage extreme metal.
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