Holland is a hot bed for underground death metal talent and the latest beast to hold that banner is Facelifter whose debut EP, released in the middle of last year, hits my listening pile like a sledgehammer. Opening the EP 'Illustration Of Madness' has superb groove within the gnarly riff that has a modern style within the newer confines of today’s death metal genre. The sound on this is punishing with a deep resonating pounding via the drums and colossal bass infestation. Added to that you have a schizoid vocalist who switches styles without notice to create a manic and psychotic delivery.
There is a tunefulness about this EP that is rugged enough to underpin its death metal credentials especially when you have the pulverising blast annihilation that initialises 'The Bleak Walls'. Inserting the bouncing borderline slam riff will have purist death fans scowling but within the armoury of Facelifter’s arsenal it works perfectly to emphasise the overt density as the tune reins in the pace for some standout lead breaks. Parts of this listened like Hypocrisy in their early to mid-era due to the powerhouse drumming style. The title track appears as a short interlude before 'Down Below' restarts the grisly proceedings that has a momentously catchy riff and beat complete with a half blast that I felt wasn’t really needed as the tune is already saturated in violence. In fact, I’d say that the blast insertions aren’t necessarily required as the pummelling heaviness via the bass and double kick is enough to propel this EP’s aggression and density.
Closing the release we have 'Asylum Anger' which is total modern death metal worship complete with core like barked vocals sitting alongside the snarling bellows which work excellently together. I do like the slower aspects of this EP as they enable the songs to be infectiously catchy but drenched in gargantuan heaviness as death metal should be and similar to early Suffocation. Granted that in the scheme of today’s massive death metal scene Facelifter are one of many newer bands brandishing the gore infested banner but when it’s delivered with such conviction then I expect Facelifter’s debut album to be monumentally slaughterous.