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Distant – Heritage

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 01 February 2023, 3:30 PM

From their EPK, There’s more than just brutality in the breakdown for Dutch/Slovak Deathcore ensemble, DISTANT. “Heritage,” the quintet’s Century Media debut and third installment of bone crushing, thick as concrete heaviness, takes their trademark “Downtempo/Deathcore” and pushes it into the red. It’s got all the subtlety of being run over by a tank repeatedly. “It’s low and slow,” smirks vocalist Alan Grnja describing the band’s sound. “Musically, lyrically, we try and travel the uncharted and come up with something you can only call DISTANT.” The album has 12 songs.

“Acid Rain” is the first. It’s a short into song, leading to “Paradigm Shift.” Heavy, brutal tones open the song, with some guitar effects…scratching, squeals, and the like. They almost sound electronic. The vocals are, of course, punishing, and the band fills the background nicely with harrowing elements. “Born of Blood” is a slower offering, allowing the weighted guitars and guttural vocals to soak in slowly. Slowly you bleed out, while the torturer laughs gently the entire time. The sound is absolutely filthy. Speaking of, “Exofilth” is another nerve-jarring experience. Drums roll with purpose, and the riffs pulverize you into dust. The vocals are equally as effective, and the heavy bass notes hold down the bottom.

“The Gnostic Uprising” features a variety of different vocal approaches…high shrills start it out, followed by impossibly low gutturals. This band isn’t messing around. “Human Scum” is even slower, and more deadly. The chaos that ensues is akin to a bloody murdering spree. The structure is as sturdy and heavy as concrete but also loose in a way that is hard to describe. “Heritage” has a repeating drum pattern that threatens to rattle your head so fast it could spontaneously combust. If you can possibly come out of this song with all of your organs intact, that would be a feat. “Plaguebreeder” closes the album, and it’s an aptly titled song. Picture one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Pestilence in particular. The amount of disease he carries can solely wipe out all human life on the planet…he has only to uncork it and set it free.

The songs are mostly short, but jam packed with sound. It’s the sounds of bones crushing, screams from tortured victims, and prolonged death. It’s the kind of death that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. The odd thing about the album is that, in my advanced age, I can only take so much punishment from one album. But this held my interest throughout. I believe I was trying to imagine how much deeper the band could possibly dig, only to discover track after track that the answer is in fact “deeper.”

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Acid Rain
2. Paradigm Shift
3. Born of Blood
4. The Grief Manifest
5. Exofilth
6. Argent Justice
7. The Gnostic Uprising
8. A Sentence to Suffer
9. Human Scum
10. Heritage
11. Orphan of Blight
12. Plaguebreeder
Alan Grnja – Vocals
Elmer Maurits – Bass
Nouri Yetgin – Lead Guitar
Vladimir Golic – Rhythm Guitar
Jan Mato –Drums
Record Label: Century Media Records


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