Artist: Reaping Asmodeia
A wave sweeps the nation. It covers every corner in shadow—every man, woman and child is drowned in its wake. It thrives on the good will and kindness of man, feasting until nothing but the carcass of benevolence is left. It is never full—always hungry, always striving for more.
It is the technical deathcore outfit Reaping Asmodeia, and it operates with a simple goal: to render every pure thing in this world vile and polluted.
And with the band’s latest full-length release, Impuritize, they come damn close to succeeding. Filled with catchy, quick and technically immaculate riffs atop a foundation of fluid, groovy bass and mile-per-minute drumming, Reaping Asmodeia live up to their lofty reputation, creating an immersive and intricate album that is nether too-dense nor lacking in content. As Goldilocks might put it, when it comes to blending savagery and surreal, speedy technicality, Impuritize is just right.
Reaping Asmodeia are a juggernaut of dizzying grooves and devastating aggression—all, of course, with boatloads of technicality and sprinkles of progressive metal pervading every aspect of their song structure and brilliant, bold instrumentation. Then again, with former members of yesteryear’s aggressive legends With Dead Hands Rising, what exactly could the listener expect? Percussionist Daniel Koppy is a crushing, bouncy, brutalizing 8-cylinder engine, ripping through the listener’s head like a chainsaw tipped with diamonds. Koppy’s insane speed and precision when it comes to blast beats—heard best on “Collage of Toxins”–is magnificent, as he adds just enough creative cymbal play and sporadic fills to keep things from getting monotonous. Koppy’s machine gun speed isn’t strictly limited to his hands, however—as songs like “Hidebound” or “Irreversible Evolution” highlight his fleet footwork; especially as they oscillate from bouncy to dizzyingly quick, transitioning fluidly and easily with assistance from bassist Roman Pinter. Pinter has big shoes to fill; as Reaping Asmodeia have only one guitarist (not that you’d know by hearing Impuritize or witnessing them live), the responsibility to provide a sprawling, crushing—yet punctual—low end falls firmly on his shoulders. Fortunately for both the band and the listener, Pinter is more than capable, creating layer after layer of grisly, gruesome and dismally dark bass grooves that add depth and fluidity to Koppy’s creative percussion without bleeding too much into the dazzling riffs, solos, slams and chugs from guitarist Alexander Kelly. In a simple statement, Kelly kills the fretwork on Impuritize. While the somewhat gritty production may take a quick second to adjust to, once the listener finds themselves immersed in Kelly’s creative take on technical death metal infused with heavy-hitting hardcore and metalcore, there is simply no getting them out. “Defenestration” is a destructive swing at the listener’s mental well-being, while later tracks–“Collage of Toxins” especially—see Kelly working with Koppy to create a fast, furious but still relentlessly heavy combination of technicality and terrifying heaviness that the listener has come to know and definitely love. What Kelly does best, however, is take someone like me—a lover of all things blunt, trauma-inducing and belligerently heavy—and turning them over to the technical side. Kelly’s solos and proggy, unpredictable grooves are a pleasure to hear, even when the listener might have a hankering for a nasty, low’n’slow breakdown, strictly by virtue of his top-notch talent and perfect placement of labyrinthine solos. Those who find themselves skeptical of this ought to give Impuritize a chance before making up their minds for sure.
Reaping Asmodeia do a brilliant job of taking the same energetic-yet-diverse and dynamic approach employed in their instrumentation and applying it to their vocal element. Frontman Steven Lane is the man to thank for this, brilliantly executing eviscerating high screeches and sinister, low bellows both with precision and punishing, remorseless efficiency. Songs like the opening number, “The Clemency Guise” make this woefully apparent from the get-go, ensuring that there is no way in Hell the listener can get through those first four minutes without being aware of the extent of Lane’s talents. This trend continues well throughout Impuritize, with Lane delivering just the amount of filthy, gritty and gruesome vocal delivery the name might imply, stripping the listener of innocence and naivety, instead replacing it with gory, grotesque brilliance. Lane’s work on just about every track is exemplary, but his best works are found throughout the opening three tracks—especially the raunchy opening number—and in “Collage of Toxins,” which adds some vocal heft to the end of the album to even things out.
Impuritize is filthy—both in its level of relative abuse inflicted upon the listener, but in the somewhat raw and rustic production. In most respects, this serves to benefit the album’s style and atmosphere—but in others, it feels as if it might, ever so slightly, detract from the otherwise (potentially) crisp nature of the bouncier, groovier portions. However, just as the listener begins to be irked by that, the raw, monstrous heaviness in songs like “Hidebound” reminds them why the unfinished feel of the raw, toothgrinding mix and master on the album are such an excellent asset—adding a new dimension of devastating aggression the likes of which the listener couldn’t have possibly seen coming. Impure to the last resonating second, Impuritize is pure sonic defilement in a manner so glorious and engaging that the listener can’t help but subject themselves to it over and over again.
For Fans Of: Lorna Shore, Ingested, Archspire, Dying Fetus, Aborted
By: Connor Welsh