1. For The Masses 2. When The Dead Walk The Earth 3. You Could Make Me Kill 4. Malicious Intent 5. Rogue State 6. The Call 7. Of Death And Chaos 8. Exorcism 9. Man To Fall 10. The New Gods 11. 'Till Fingers Bleed 12. La Muerte
Across the barbed wire, foggy meadows comes Gorefest, ruling this modern death metal frontier with a solid black iron fist. So we are gathered and so it begins, the awakening of Holland's giant, a monolithic beast from the mountain, rearing its strange head in grand fashion. Here comes Gorefest, eight years shy of their last groundbreaking effort in "Chapter 13", and the last time these metallic waylanders have been in the same studio and the same holding cell. Reunion rumors were amidst, and finally the union was finalized. "La Muerte" answers the call, taking this band, this legendary death unit, into this millennium with a fine output of mesmerizing steel pounding finesse. This is today's Gorefest and this is absolutely superior craftsmanship.
Jan-Chris and his fellow mates have always been on the cutting edge of the most sophisticated death metal precision, going leaps and bounds away from the Floridian metal scene in the early '90s with the critically acclaimed "False". Gorefest followed by streamlining their process on solid, titanium albums like "Soul Survivor" and "Erase". By 1998 the band had really gone light years away from the standard death metal fare, taking their brand of mayhem and chaos in more direction, adding more angles to their iron-clad ways. Gorefest bordered on pure power metal, almost as if the band holstered their six guns in the same leather as Black Sabbath, Corrosion Of Conformity, and Entombed while still finding their sound cased and laced in a speed metal prison.
Now 2006 brings a rejuvenated, much more seasoned Gorefest. Think of "La Muerte" as the best elements of "False", "Erase", and "Soul Survivor". The band hit on all cylinders, carving pounds of flesh in their macabre vision of death metal allegiance through perseverance and intensity. This is a shining star in a genre that falls flatter every year. This is the perfect outlet for more "commercial" beacons to become much more evident. Gorefest trade speed for groove, matching tit for tat on every solid number found here. From the groove wallop of powerhouse "The Call" to the thrash 'n roll sounds of "When The Dead Walk The Earth", this band burns red hot, almost taking the "wolverine blues" of a certain Swedish band and beefing it up rocksteady. Nobody can deny the absolute blistering leads found all over this slab, with obvious highlight being the Kirk Hammet sounding piece on "You Could Make Me Kill". But beyond the fantastic musical choice and selection comes the smooth, calculated atmosphere, really casually slicing around the ear with "Of Death And Chaos" and title track. Think of the abstract thought patterns running through Slayer's "South Of Heaven" while slowly churned with the likes of C.O.C and Sabbath. Mandatory listening for anyone lurking in the dark.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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