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Swelling Repulsion – The Severed Path

Swelling Repulsion
The Severed Path
by Jesse Lacharite at 18 November 2021, 1:02 AM

From the nether edges of the world, two kindred spirits collide together to form SWELLING REPULSION. Their debut “The Severed Path” is up for judgement, will it survive the onslaught or will it fall onto the pile of irrelevance? Let's find out…

I'm going to call this progressive blackened death metal. The vocals are early SUFFOCATION to a tee. Riff laden cuts abound on this release. The band make a point of keeping busy in that department. There is a cool combination of a lot of bands and styles at work here, all melded together in a chaotic swirling mass of virulent madness.

The production is both cool and well…not cool. The guitars are very present in the mix and Satan knows that I love a bold sounding guitar album, but the are some obvious tuning issues. The drums sound a little thin and processed to me. The clickiness and articulation is there, but the meat and potatoes is kind of missing. Vocals sound decent and the more effected parts succeed in creating an atmosphere, overall, it gets the job done, but nothing to write home to Mom about.

Now lets get into the music. I like a lot of what the band are doing. They've latched onto what I affectionately call “weirdo metal”. Bands like ARCTURUS did this early on in the day, but SWELLING REPULSION bring something new to the table. The first track “Enslaved” descends on the listener like a swarm of infected locusts. Thrashing, intricate guitars, crescendoing into glorious dissonance is part and parcel with this release. “Shooting the Gap” and “Black Tide” follow in the same vein. I almost want to say that this is reminiscent of BLUT AUS NORD, but again the band defy any attempt to really be pigeon-holed.

There is a complexity to the music and to the album in general. SWELLING REPULSION aren't afraid to draw outside the lines and some of the more acoustic passages are a testament to that. With “Labyrinth” and “Portals” the band try to inject a new dimension to the music, my only complaint is the attention to detail. The soundscapes are basic at best, and the performance definitely needs some tweaking, but the essence is appreciated.

“Ride or Die” and “The Severed Path” are my favorite cuts off this release. They hack and tear away at the listener like a frenzied sociopath on a rampage. In these instances, the out of tuness of the guitars and bass adds a sinister air to the music. You can't doubt the intensity of these two tracks, really great material with these two.

To close the album out we have “Unfathomable Depths”, another rip-roaring affair that twists and turns in maniacal fashion before braining you for good. There are so many great licks and riffs on this one, really starting to sound like the band is hitting their stride and an excellent way to end the release.

This is a solid release. It's progressive and adventurous but there are some elements here that need to be addressed before greatness can truly be achieved. From production to performance there are just enough issues here to bring this album down a notch or two. The song writing was competent and so was the recording, but the package as a whole needs more time to marinate. Worth a spin if you're a fan of BM, DM, and Progressive forms of either the two previous genres.

Songwriting:  8
Musicianship:  7
Memorability:  7
Production:  7

3 Star Rating

1. Enslaved
2. Shooting the Gap
3. Black Tide
4. Ride or Die
5. Labyrinth
6. Corridor
7. The Severed Path
8. Portal
9. Unfathomable Depths
Dono – Guitars, Bass, Vocals
Bage – Drums, Vocals
Record Label: Spirit Coffin Publishing


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Edited 28 November 2021

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