Do you miss those old school Death Metal albums that delivered constant riffs that will leave you headbanging in your room for 45 minutes? Do you miss Wojciech Wąsowicz from Decapitated and his demonic low vocals like on Winds of Creation? Do you miss that OG, Slayer inspired Death Metal that seems like it has ultimately been finished in the music industry? You will never have to worry about any of those issues again, because the menacing Scorched and their violent, horror inspired latest release Ecliptic Butchery will leave you in shock at the incredibly brutal and barbaric nature of the music.
On the first listen of this record, you’ll pick up automatically from the overtones, production and music composition is heavily inspired by old school Death Metal bands like Possessed, Deicide, Death, Decapitated and Cannibal Corpse. I’m not going to lie, my original taking from this album was that it was undeniably heavy and interesting, but it sounded a bit outdated for my liking. Then I just brushed that mindset aside for a moment and realized that Scorched are merely paying homage to the great Death Metal kings of our time, while creating something new, unforgiving and ferocious.
Delving into the release a little bit, the album begins with the creepy and sadistic “Blood Splatter Eclipse”. Beginning the album with an eerie presence, it gives off the impression that you’re about to reach the climax of your favourite horror film, keeping you on edge and a little bit scared for what’s to come next. Guitarists Frederico Demarco and Steve Fuchs use that spine-chilling sample to their advantage, coming in with a fiery tremolo section that’ll leave all death metal fans drooling. The experience and talent of the entire band is shown almost straight away, but drummer Matt Izzi is the band’s secret weapon. With insanely clean playing and incredible timing, Izzi is able to hold the band together with his petrifying skills on the double kick, as well as his ferocity on his blast beast, a major characteristic of the genre.
The track that really peaked my interest, even from the first listen, is the single entitled “Exhibits of Torture”. While short and very abrupt, it begins in the most “death metal” way possible; straight into blasts, a huge riff and then a mind numbing solo that will leave even the experienced guitarists in shock and the accuracy and cleanliness. Vocalist Matt Kappa really stands out in this track more than most, really encapsulating the vision and technique utilized by original Decapitated vocalist Wąsowicz, almost as if he’s throwing you into a time machine back to when Winds of Creation had just come out and blown away every big band in the scene.
Now, for every old school Death Metal band, there has to be at least ONE song that is influenced, heavily or otherwise, by the lords of Thrash, Slayer. Scorched deliver that very well on the second track of Ecliptic Butchery, “Disfiguring Operations”. Beginning the intense song with a riff that’s more or less inspired by the riff in “South of Heaven” (see 0:36), they bring something new and innovative to the table with this track with the drumming skills of Izza and the tremolo riffage of guitarists Demarco and Fuchs, absolutely tearing it all apart half way through the track.
Although bassist Andrew Benenati was audible throughout the track (thank god) and had his shining moments throughout Ecliptic Butchery, I felt like he would be able to contribute a lot more than following the root notes and playing bass chords, especially since this style of old school Death Metal really calls for a strong lineup of instrumentalists that aren’t afraid to showcase their all. A few bass solos, maybe a bass line that doesn’t follow the guitar or something that could really catch the ear of Death Metal fanatics would help bring Scorched to a new level of tenacity and horror.
Relentless and brutal, Ecliptic Butchery delivers an unprecedented amount of violence and heaviness that will leave most listeners with a huge hospital bill from a broken neck. If you do end up getting a huge bill because you broke your neck headbanging to this old school worshipping record, please do not send the bill to the band.
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