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Castrator - No Victim

No Victim
by Vladimir “Abir” Leonov at 12 July 2015, 9:49 PM

From Scandinavia and the Americas hails the all-female Death metal “collab” (If I can say) CASTRATOR, with their debut EP “No Victim”. The track list itself screams feminism, incenting me to leave the Byzantine debates aside and stick to my task of discussing music, something rather not appealing to those already worked-up to either bash the band or worship it for reasons having nihil to do with music and all to do with external agendas.

Generic when it comes to their classification, they seem to lean a bit toward Deathcore which isn’t to despise regardless of its somewhat icky reputation, for the mentioned genre did deliver a few of the best arpeggios I’ve ever listened to.

Perhaps the number one thing captivating attention is the impressively deep range of the growls seldom heard among metal frontwomen, for MALIKA has already achieved recognition for her fronting the American technical Death Metal ABNORMALITY, still, that only led me to rethink how much can a vocalist stand without a proper backing instrumentation or any actually detectable writing process. Quite a slope down for her both technically and genre-wise, as the tedious vocals lacked variety apart from some shy passages of high-pitched growls. As if this wasn’t bad enough, despite the initial impression that the remaining lineup pretty assures, a span of 13 minutes and some proved otherwise as the whole compositions seems desperately dependant on the already plighted vocals. For example “Honor Killing” displays a hellish oriental scale and on top of all the solo does kicks ass, but the recording quality, which is too little too crude till the point of rust, only makes it a garage band look alike. I can already visualize the vocalist bowing forward to deliver struggling lines, waiting for a drop of genuine groove from the fellows but to a little avail.

Things kept sour in “Brood”, a thrash tremolo machine generating a sheer gloomy ambiance yet as you keep on listening, your perceptive centers send you the feedback that this is more of a hollow vacarme. Either all-chords or tremolo with each solo poorer than its precedent, the atmosphere “killerly” enthralls but you can’t help but questioning whether this is all they can provide.

The bullet-like “The Emasculator” kicks off well and even signature shifts are detectable, but soon you get weary of the redundant two-syllable lyric lines. At times the vocals go thoroughly undeciphered to fade into almost non-lyrical humming, needless to mention the beginner riffs bearing in mind that what can fire a crowd live wouldn’t necessarily pass the studio hoop.

Same issue with the eponymous track “No Victim”: Apart from the double pedals dexterity and some time signature juggling, apart from the whole clump of heaviness, apart from a rough replica of CANNIBAL CORPSE’s early-mid days, what else?

Spanning for less than 15 minutes yet fair enough to identify the whole picture. And while we metalheads thrive for a prejudice-free scene, CASTRATOR’s audience seems already pretty much predefined. And no doubt, while the all-female band is nothing new, what differs in this case is the ulterior ideology that can be used (or misused) to cover up for any inadequate musical level.

Disclaimer: I keep myself as well as the review totally genderless. No bias intended.

2 Star Rating

1. Honor Killing
2. Brood
3. The Emasculator
4. No Victim
Mallika Sundaramurthy - Vocals
Priscila Serrano - Guitars
Robin Mazen - Bass
Carolina Perez - Drums
Record Label: Horror Pain Gore Death Productions


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