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MÉLANCOLIA: ‘HissThroughRottenTeeth’

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Greyscale Records & Nuclear Blast Records

April 21

Words by Jimmy Glinster

What better way to celebrate Easter than to listen to some blackened deathcore based on a torturous tale of the birth, life and death of a fallen deity, cast down from a godly realm and met with the punishment of reincarnating as a human with a wealth of knowledge yet stripped entirely of power. That was a fucking mouthful, but it all sounds a bit like that poor fuckin Jesus bloke doesn’t it. How fitting.

Sparing no time in getting the story started, the opening riff of Horror Ethereal just about blows my head off due to me forgetting to check my headphone volume. It stops and starts a few times with freakish little jabs, but it’s not long before the band gets down to business, and I’m being blasted by both guttural growls and gremlin screams. This shit is heavy and evil as fuck.

Dread Will Follow kicks with a bit more of a traditional black metal feel and then quickly shifts into more of a thrash metal vibe. The mixed vocals have me wondering if the band has two vocalists or if the vocalist has some kind of multiple personality disorder. I actually think it’s the latter. The riffs so far are fucking brutal, and the constant double kicks are relentless and threatening.

Apparently, the album traverses’ different stages of the deity’s miserable existence, doomed to repeat a painful cycle for all of eternity, but I have no idea what MÉLANCOLIA are trying to tell me because I haven’t been able to understand a single word so far. I guess I’ll just have to take their word for it, even though they may be speaking in tongues.

Which brings us to God Tongue with its eerie opening passage & guttural vocals. I’m not generally a fan of this style of heavy music, but credit where credit is due, this is brutal as fuck and for the unexpected listener it could cause pure dread. This song just keeps getting heavier!

When Shovel Drags on Concrete is up next, its staccato opening sets the tone for another monstrous adventure. After the first couple of verses of guttural despair, the band opens up and the song becomes semi-melodic and symphonic sounding. The track then completely breaks down for a strange spoken word sample section before continuing on its melodic and symphonic path. Don’t fret though, it fucking destroys itself again before it finds its end.

The intro to The Hand That Tied The Noose could be mistaken for some kind of progressive metal track from the early 2000s but by the time the vocals enter I’m again reminded that we are dealing with some evil shit. The high-pitched gremlin-style screams are ear-piercing which somehow make the guttural death growls pleasing when they take over momentarily to interrupt here and there.

As I hit the 6th track on the album [Inure] I’m beginning to run out of ways to describe how brutal and evil this album is, but this track takes me by surprise with a slower, more melodic intro. This doesn’t last long though as some furious double kicks take over and the screams begin. It does slow back down again as an interesting almost funky bass line rolls over the top of some not-so-brutal screams. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still dark, heavy and evil as fuck.

Alright, it’s time for the title track HissThroughRottenTeeth and for about 30 seconds there it almost sounded like I was listening to another band. Following suit of the previous track, this one is a bit slower than the hectic stuff earlier in the album. When it does pick up the pace though there is a quite impressive tremolo triplet section that pricks my ears up. This shifts in and about between some heavy breakdowns, melodic breaks and moments of absolute doom.

All of a sudden, a new song starts, and it’s called …a cold static eulogy. Not important enough for capital letters apparently, but that is neither here nor there. What about this song, well, what about it? It’s not as heavy as previous tracks, and it has more of an open feel throughout the verses which is a nice change of tempo. It even has some kind of weird groovy bounce riff through what I think is a chorus, or possibly a bridge. Don’t get me wrong, it still has its moments of pure black metal terror and mid-song almost touches on thrash metal again before reassuring us that this metal is blackened. Ok, I take it back, this song is heavy as fuck!

Well, I’d usually only last about 2 songs with this type of band and genre, but the production and creative song structures kept me interested enough to listen to the whole album. All 8 tracks of it, and although I feel like I now need an exorcism, I quite fucking enjoyed it. If the joys of Easter and the celebration of Jesus took too much of a toll on you, just get this in your earholes and blacken your heart!

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