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Upyr - Altars / Tunnels

Altars / Tunnels
by Salvador Aguinaga II at 30 January 2014, 2:09 AM

It starts pretty well by building energy and then distributing it evenly to the right areas. Clearly with patience and concentration at hand you are looking at a Doom Metal group but also one that combines different styles. “Altars of Necrotic Karma” opens in such a way. It starts with fluid drumming helping the intro reach a climax before settling and letting the riffs take over. With the dissonant atmosphere, an area is created to launch subtle Black Metal rhythms. There the riffs also envelop into a Post-Hardcore riff which is beautifully done and capsulated.

The vocalist has a nice diversity to him. It’s surely surprising if you do your homework on Brodnik and realize he comes from a Metalcore outfit, SHE WAS ASKING FOR IT. Goddamn how terrible that band is. It’s hard to believe the ways he’s come in merely half a decade. But even so, Brodnik still has a lot of journeying to do. This time around, he’s using his voice more diligently and with ambidexterity. He has versatility but has not yet harnessed to excel at each sound that escapes his cords. His high shrieks are tolerable. They sound like a more mature execution of the late Mitch Lucker (SUICIDE SILENCE). It’s less fretful and does not linger on a superficial case of brutal prowess. Brodnik’s are collected and better executed for the right purposes.

“Into the Tunnels of My Sleep” dwells more on somber and almost lifeless vocals. It’s a vocal style I believe for most to be irritating or perhaps dull. I’ll admit my first run through I didn’t enjoy this deviation. But with more consecutive listens I grew to appreciate them. Also it’s more prominent that the vocal choices are a bit amateurish or better yet, experimental. The guitars get a lot heavier and the atmosphere becomes gloomier. The biggest problems were the last two tracks, “Hymn to Pan” and “Welcome to the Ritual”. It felt like the former to be a 90 degree turn, and finally the latter, a full 180. “Hymn to Pan” uses the same gloomy vocals as “Into the Tunnels of My Sleep” but sound even lazier. The whole premise of the song is for the vocals to articulate, well hymns, and layer it with Funeral Doom vocals that sounded like Brodnik had a sore throat. The lyrical choices also made it difficult to swallow (no “Pan” intended). “Welcome To The Ritual” is such a chaotic (disorganized and thoughtless) song that I thought they were under the influence of some third-party drug. There’s a dramatic shift that destroys any chemistry the song established.

It’s obvious that with Brodnik you have a preparatory object to look into. He bought in his past experience and incorporated it to the present day. It shows growth but also a feeling of expertise not yet attained. 

2 Star Rating

1. Altars of Necrotic Karma
2. Into the Tunnels of My Sleep
3. Hymn to Pan
4. Welcome to the Ritual
Mora  - Bass
V.B. - Drums
Tymnokryw - Guitars
Spasm - Guitars
Brodnik – Vocals
Record Label: Serpent Eve Records


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