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Repugnance - Shrouds of Deceit

Shrouds of Deceit
by Liam Easley at 29 May 2019, 8:00 PM

Malta is the home of four active Brutal Death Metal bands, three of which have released full-lengths. The newest addition to that statistic is REPUGNANCE, who just unleashed their debut album last Friday, May 24, 2019, on Rising Nemesis Records titled “Shrouds of Deceit”.

Over the course of eight tracks, there are a lot of different influences going on. REPUGNANCE sounds a lot like CRYPTOPSY or Sweden’s APOSTLE with every track saturated with unrelenting brutality and groove. The riffing is intense and feral while the drums keep everything relatively sane. Malta may only have few Brutal Death Metal bands, but of the few are the heavy-hitters ABYSMAL TORMENT and BEHEADED, both of which have had an impact on this band’s sound.

The only flaw on this record is that the songs have so much going on that it is difficult to digest, but that can be cured by giving it multiple listens. Otherwise, the album is structured well and maintains a consistent style among the individual tracks. Most of the songs have their own identity buried within, but that doesn’t eliminate the fact that these songs can be quite formulaic.

The formula is not bad by any means because each track executes the formula differently, if the track even follows it (which most of them do). Halfway through, there will be a groovy section like on “Insolence Incarnate”. It will slow down, or the drumbeat will change, and the song will have a whole new dimension to it. Sometimes it can be unpredictable like on “Shackled at Birth” which featured two sections like this back to back.

At the end of most of the songs is a heavy conclusion. “Feast of Debauchery” excels in the field of heavy endings, having a crushingly kinetic riff to finish off the album. A lot of the other songs play with this theme as well, giving the listener something extra to look forward to.

Another theme within the music of REPUGNANCE is harmonization. Unlike previously mentioned themes, this does not fall into the formulaic category. Some tracks feature this motif like “Abhorrent Resurrection,” a song whose harmonization is very memorable. This technique accentuates riffs by giving them depth and giving the human ear something extra to eat up. It creates a more interesting sound and makes it more tempting to hit replay.

Outside of Canadian and Swedish influence, REPUGNANCE takes from other bands that share the Mediterranean Sea with them, mainly Italian titans such as UNBIRTH and HOUR OF PENANCE. “Parallels of Obscurity” has a heavy conclusion that is individualized by its likeness to HOUR OF PENANCE, not in a way that plagiarizes, but in a reminiscent sense. The final product is heavy and different, causing the song to stand out.

As a whole, this album features very fine songwriting and musicianship. The songs all progress to new riffs and ideas while still repeating the ones in need of repetition. It isn’t a perfect album, but it is definitely an incredible piece of brutality and tremendous precision. This album is heavy and full of momentum, as each track grooves and pounds its way into one’s brain. A new era is emerging in Malta, and it is long overdue.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Insolence Incarnate
2. Scourge & Ruin
3. Abhorrent Resurrection
4. A Desolate Malice
5. Shrouds of Deceit
6. Shackled at Birth
7. Parallels of Obscurity
8. Feast of Debauchery

Ayrton Muscat – Bass
Konrad Saliba – Drums
George Gauci – Guitars
Roderick Mifsud – Vocals
Daniel Kingswell – Guitars

Record Label: Rising Nemesis Records


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