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Gomorrah - Gomorrah Award winner

by Jack Harding at 23 August 2019, 4:18 PM

As bowed guitars swell and rise, reverberating and pulsing as if reflecting off of vast ranges of frostbitten mountains, a familiar feeling struck me. A supreme, but ultimately hollow expanse wallowing with ghosts of masterpieces past. This ambiance, whilst excellent, is nothing without substance. All signposts point ahead in one direction. I prepare myself for the predictable, uneven path laid so clearly ahead of me. With one final step I begin the journey to Gomorrah. As I pace sterile, barren wastes morph from the predictable. The stereotypes cast adrift as a wholly unique landscape unfurls beneath my feet. Images and first impressions can be deceiving.

GOMORRAH are aware of your expectations, and promptly eviscerate them. Everything about the intro to opening track “Ember,” screams “Black Metal”. Tension is built up by a looming soundscape, before subverting any and all expectations by rocketing off into aggressive Death Metal riffing. Moments of ‘bait and switch’ like this leaves listeners enthralled. Almost as if addressing the audience directly, as the fourth wall is destroyed within film. This knowledge of music is incredibly apparent here, and leaves an aggressive album feeling strangely playful, in all the best ways. Anything is possible, and it sets the listeners synapses alight trying to keep up with the manic, technical riffing.

Other than the deconstruction of Metal cliches on display here, GOMORRAH simply improve and innovate the genre. “The Carnage Wrought” is a perfect example of the innovative thinking on display here. Mixing a "Blackened" atmosphere seamlessly with Technical Death Metal, allowing the typically exhausting genre the breathing space it so desperately needs to keep riffs hitting with maximum impact. Whilst this hybrid of Blackened elements with Technical Death Metal has been attempted before, such as with VALE OF PNATH and their latest EP “Accursed,” it has never been done this effectively. Track “The Blade Itself” even toys with a slight Deathcore influence, but without the repetition or lack of creativity that plagues that particular genre.

Every second on this record is put to phenomenal use. Experiments are executed almost flawlessly, and the record never outstays its welcome, leaving each and every riff fresh in the mind. Topped off with stunning production, there truly is very little to criticize here. My personal preference is begging for more songs with the varied dynamics and atmosphere of “The Carnage Wrought,” but it is clear that GOMORRAH’s journey has only just begun. I for one, am thrilled to be along for the ride.

Songwriting: 9/10
Originality: 9/10
Memorability: 8/10
Production: 8/10

4 Star Rating

1. Ember
2. From Earthen Ruins
3. Predatory Reich
4. Frailty
5. For Those Of Eld
6. The Carnage Wrought
7. The Blade Itself
8. Of Ghosts And The Grave
Jeff Bryan - Vocals
Bowen Matheson - Guitars
Hannes Grossmann - Drums
Record Label: Willowtip Records


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