Quite how I never heard this band back in 1993 when this album came out is a total mystery as it was just the thing I was heavily into back then and still am really. This US act was around in the late 80s and early 90s and released four demos and a full length in 1993 before folding and disappearing. Playing this I can understand why the band maybe had problems getting recognised as it is packed full with the Chuck Schuldiner way of writing songs but still had its own individuality but fans were fickle back then and anything that sounded like Death was more or less vilified, where I lived even it was, even if it was good which this is.
The album has a claustrophobic sound, typical of the time, with the guitar sound being ultra-dense but tuneful and highly defined as this reissue gets under way with 'Existence Lies Beneath'. The sound throughout is pounding and whilst the overall production of the time shows its age, the authenticity cannot be denied and if I’m honest I prefer death metal to sound this way in some respects as it is honest and bares its soul completely as the album continues with the guttural “Despair”. I like the vocals on this album too, they’re deep but possessing a clarity that most death metal had at this time; you can decipher the words instead of listening to someone who sounds like they’re vomiting constantly.
Tracking down underground gems like this is very fulfilling as getting hold of an original CD from the time is likely to set you back a fair amount of cash so this reissue is very welcome for me. 'Incisions' is a great song, hammering riffs and a thundering bass undercurrent rife with energy and power, the track is beastly especially with the destructive double bass that filters into the track. The comparisons to Death are inescapable as the guitar matches the style and tone in places, utilising good lead breaks but the band also has the tenets of brutal deathsters Suffocation due to the short stabbing riff style that pops up occasionally.
I couldn’t help but have some nostalgic thoughts listening to this album as the early 90s were an exploratory time for many into extreme music and whilst this album lacks the panache of modern releases the genuineness of tracks like 'Liquid Remains' and 'Geneticide' are excellent.
If you delve into the annals of yesteryear you can find handfuls of bands that got nowhere but released cracking albums all the same, but were destined to be lost in the flood of death metal that was around at the time.
This is well worth picking up and even if you give it a listen online I am sure you’ll agree that it is an honest slab of death metal that is worthy of hearing 23 years after it was released.