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Maul - Seraphic Punishment

Seraphic Punishment
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 24 August 2022, 3:46 PM

Old School Death Metal, classic Death Metal or traditional Death Metal are labels used to described a same form of playing this genre: the form of inspired on the bands that released their early albums or demo tapes between 1983 and 1987 (namely DEATH, HELLHAMMER, CELTIC FROST, POSSESSED, KREATOR, SODOM, MASSACRE, MASTER and others that had an early Black/Thrash Metal appeal in the formula), or the invasion that happened in the turn of the 80’s to the 90’s (the generation that revealed acts as MORBID ANGEL, DEICIDE, ENTOMBED, DISMEMBER, CARCASS, OBITUARY, NAPALM DEATH and others, when the features of the genre were laid). We can say that the North American quintet MAUL, from North Dakota, is a classic Death Metal act, as shown on “Seraphic Punishment”, their latest release.

Their music isn’t something hard to describe: it’s that bone crushing and nasty form of playing Death Metal used by the bands of the first and second generation of the genre, but mixing influences from USA, Sweden and UK Schools of the genre, along with some slow paced tempos influenced by CELTIC FROST and BOLT THROWER and some piggish screams here and there (as heard on “Of Human Frailty”). Ok, it’s nothing extremely new at all, but it’s honest, played with a personal form and it’s full of aggressiveness and energy. And besides it’s nothing new, they’re not copying anyone, just doing things as please themselves. Prepare your ears, because they’re not kidding. The band hired Jake Watson (to work on the recording and sound engineering) and Andreas Linnemann (to make the mixing and mastering) to build the sonority of the album, and they did a good work, because it sounds raw and aggressive as the early releases of the genre, but with the advantages of modern technologies, what make things sounds defined and understandable. And it’s a sign that the quintet refuses to live in the past.

For a Death Metal fan that loves the old waves of the genre, “Seraphic Punishment” offers a very good work, with songs able to make the ears whistle for hours and hours. And the slow paced tempos and nasty ambience of “Of Human Frailty” (with nasty and crude guitar riffs weaving brutal and introspective arrangements), the brutal grasp imposed by the rhythmic session on “Seraphic Punishment” and “Repulsive Intruder” (the contrasts created by bass guitar and drums are very good, indeed), “Deity Demise” with its simple and nasty approach on the instrumental parts (and with very good grunts and screams entwined throughout the song), “Oracular Burial Grounds” (what brutal and classic Death Metal ambiences contrasting with faster moments), and the nightmare given by “Infatuation” and “Carrion Totem” are the right choices for a first time on the band’s work.

MAUL did a very good work on “Seraphic Punishment”, but the fans can expect more of the quintet. They have potential to increase things a lot in their music.

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

4 Star Rating

1. Of Human Frailty
2. Seraphic Punishment
3. Repulsive Intruder
4. Monarchy of Mold
5. Deity Demise
6. Buried in Resin
7. Invocations - Interlude
8. Oracular Burial Grounds
9. Infatuation
10. Carrion Totem
Garrett Alvarado - Vocals
Al Nikolas - Lead Guitars
Anthony Lamb - Guitars
Mike Griggs - Bass
Robby Anderson - Drums
Record Label: Redefining Darkness Records


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