Corrupter - Descent Into Madness

2 man death metal group Corrupter finally unleash their dismal death metal debut on the world after a quick formation in 2021, and it is 30 minutes of French old school 90s musical hell. Raw, grim, with little flair or room for progressive elements, this is pretty much lo fi brutality on the ear in the vein of Incantation, Immolation, and even a bit of Gorguts. While many of the tracks bleed together a bit, the line between death and doom is walked carefully while retaining a haunting atmosphere that just grinds along. Sometimes it is like nails on a chalkboard, and other times it is just a rushing abyss. Tracks from “Descent Into Madness” pull listeners right in with no soft introductions or lies; everything is pretty much laid bare with ‘End of the Rope’ which is dissonant, churning evil with echoing growls, thunderous guitars that slow down only for a dark solo in the middle, and drums that just explode so loud they bury the solos. Corrupter’s style certainly seems to focus on vocals and drums, as the distortion tends to fuzz out everything else, but it works well for the atmosphere. Other tracks like ‘Into the Hearse’ are less forgiving with the endless pounding from the drums with little room for the slower, doomier tones, and this lends strength to the vocals which just sound loud and vomiting as they try to overcome the wall of sound; here we really get that Immolation feeling without the overbearing fury of the band’s sound but Corrupter still try to make their tracks sound as furious as possible.

As the album progresses the rabbit hole to hell tends to sound a little all too familiar. Tracks like ‘No Life Here’ add thrashy elements but in the process speed everything up so the music feels rushed. ‘Horror and Aftermath’ along with ‘Not Enough To Harm’ go back to the mid pace churn of tracks like ‘Into The Hearse’ but it sounds a little too much like what was heard before, so listeners might start skipping around on the track to see where things might slow down to sludging, doomier standards or where the drums and vocals just shine through to mix things up a bit from the wall of sound. ‘A Mistaken Anointing…’ does just that. Very Incantation doom laden, it plods along with dark undertones and a creepier menace than some of the heavier track; the only downside is it is too short. ‘Home For The Dead’ keeps up the doom elements but offers something more in the guitar solos which while not very melodic and sound like nails on a chalkboard, one could appreciate the atmosphere they lend like wailing spirits of the damned trapped in the abyss. Finally the title track speeds things up right to about standard old school death metal pace, and while it might not be the most effective track on the album, the vocals crawl along to keep up with the guitars and roar to great effect with the menacing riffs and overall a final nail in the coffin of the musical journey to let listeners know once they are in they are never out, with the last 15 seconds of silence to really let the effect sink in.

Overall "Descent Into Madness" is a fantastic throwback to the likes of late 90s/ early 2000 death metal where dissonance was used to great effect to get that demo, raw sound but still produced well enough to enjoy the bass and drums with the effects of Paradise Lost doom drenched growls from the late 80s. The album is quick, but nightmarishly enjoyable despite sounding the same about halfway through. Listeners may skip around a bit to find the interesting parts but overall the album is worth digging into as a whole to really get swallowed up by the crushing brutality that is Corrupter as it menacingly sucks one down into a soundscape of hell.

3 / 5 STARS

1. End Of The Rope
2. Darkest Light
3. Into The Hearse
4. No Life Here
5. Horror And Aftermath
6. Not Enough To Harm
7. A Mistaken Anointing Of The Sick
8. Home For The Dead
9. Descent Into Madness