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Matterhorn - Crass Cleansing (Reissue)

Matterhorn
Crass Cleansing (Reissue)
by Martin Knap at 06 January 2020, 8:34 PM

MATTERHORN are a Swiss band as can be deduced from the band's name, which is named after a mountain in the Swiss Alps. The trio has been formed in 2012 and they've debuted in 2018 with "Crass Cleansing", a remastered version of which is being re-released now on vinyl and CD jointly by Dying Victims Productions and Redefining Darkness Records. Metal Archives describes their style as a mix of Death and Speed Metal, which is certainly not something we hear very day - I personally couldn't imagine how it would sound and what bands to associate any concrete bands with it.

MATTERHORN basically plays no frills 80s style extreme Metal, which is sort of the primordial soup out of which extreme genres as we know them today – Black, Death, Thrash, Doom Metal – emerged. The songs often switch between fast, thrashy onslaughts and groovy a bit bouncy riffs, and there are slow, doomy sections as well. The tempo shifts in the songs can be quite dramatic. One noticeable influence is CELTIC FROST, it’s present in the riffs but also in the vocal style – I was waiting for the singer to throw in a big old "ough" the whole time when first listening to the record, but he abstains from it. But lot of the riffs are simply aggressive Thrash riffs, or simple, driving Crust Punk riffs.

The first song "Violent Success" shifts has both groove and bare-knuckle agression, there is a section with a solo and drumming that are bouth quite off-kilter (the drumming sounds a bit sloppy to me). "Parabol Dreams" is a song with a primitive, DISCHARGE-esque riff and a mid-tempo middle section. "The Hornhead" has fast parts as well as slow – Doom Metal-like – parts, and the closer "Of All I Was" also has some really sharp tempo shifts.  The songwriting formula is rather simple but effective, I just feel like certain songs could trim some fat, like "The Hornhead" ends with a section that sounds a bit "off" or sloppy, and I’m not sure if it adds something to the song or that it improves it. In sum, because MATTERHORN’s style is pretty straight-forward, it seems like trimming some fat might improve things.

The re-edition has two bonus songs which sound quite different from the older ones, and I was genuinely confused when I’ve herd them without knowing that they are not part of the album. They are quite long (on is seven and the other ten minutes long) and have a more Melodic Black Metal vibe. They are interesting, but I feel like they are a bit directionless. I’ll base my judgement on the original album which with the bonus songs would feel over-long. "Crass Cleansing" has it’s charm, it’s old-school stuff, but it doesn’t feel rehashed. Even though it has flaws one can sense a sort of attitude and passion from the music that make it endearing.


Songwriting: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 7
Musicianship: 6

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Diptyque
2. Violent Success
3. Noch nicht nichts
4. Teenage Emperors
5. Parabol Dreams
6. The Hornhead
7. Tongues of Babel
8. Of All I Was
9. Bydying
10. Clarity
Lineup:
Nekroking – Bass, Vocals (backing)
Tim Tot – Drums
Morbid – Vocals, Guitars
Record Label: Redefining Darkness Records
     


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Edited 21 January 2020
 

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