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Verthebral – Abysmal Decay

Abysmal Decay
by James Brizuela at 07 January 2020, 6:04 AM

VERTHEBRAL is a death metal band from Paraguay that originally formed in 2012. They released their first EP in 2015, entitled “Adultery of Soul”. Soon after they would release their first full-length album, “Regeneration” in 2017. They draw heavily on influences of 90's death metal while implementing their own sound to the genre. Now they return to the fold with their new full-length album, “Abysmal Decay”. At first listen I thought I was going to listen to a sort of linear death metal band, but I found myself enticed by the sound of VERTHEBRAL. The opening track, “Ancient Legion”, comes in swinging with the pure brutal death metal sound, but with it comes some very good guitar soloing. There is a more melodic sound to their style of death metal as well. It is fast, sure, but you can hear an ebb and flow to their sound.

Another surprise that came from VERTHEBRAL is their usage of atmospheric elements. There are some cultural sounds mixed in with their death metal, like in “The Art of Perversion”. There are some creepy cries to add to uneasiness of the sound. I have to say the guitar play in this album is off the charts. I find myself completely impressed with the musicianship of VERTHEBRAL. With every track providing the pure brutality, there is an equal amount of guitar soloing that continues to impress. The title track of the album, “Abysmal Decay” is chock full of that great guitar work. As I stated before, there is a more melodic feel to the sounds in “Abysmal Decay”. It is not just pure speed and death metal style. You can hear a clear-cut layered sound in “Isolation Room”. I’m also a huge fan of the mirrored backing vocals, they always hit harder in a powerful way. I love the atmospheric nuances that VERTHEBRAL throw into their sound. It is not super typical for death metal bands to include that. “Absence of a God” has an evil laugh that just adds more depth to the sound for me.

There is a lot more going on in the sound of VERTHEBRAL, than to just be a brutal death metal sounding band. You can tell they are trying to set themselves apart musically. The beautiful guitar melody in “Obsidian Tears” is proof of that. It is a quick instrumental interlude that showcases the impressive musicianship of the band. There is always a fear that being a brutal death metal band, the recording can sound a little muddled, but the album is recorded well. I can differentiate all the instrumentation, just the vocals sound rough a lot. Once they clean this up, I can see VERTHEBRAL as a top-tier death metal band. Overall, “Abysmal Decay” is a very solid death metal album. I was pleasantly surprised by the pure musicianship of VERTHEBRAL. The addition of the atmospheric charm, and the melodic undertones of the album also showed that they have no intention of being a run of the mill death metal band.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Ancient Legion
2. The Art of Perversion
3. Abysmal Decay
4. Isolation Room
5. Coronation of Envy
6. Absence of a God
7. Sweet Home Illusion
8. Obsidian Tears
9. My Dark Existence
10. Testimony of Hate
Christian Rojas – Bass, Vocals
Daniel Larroza – Guitars
Alberto Flores – Guitars
Denis Viveros – Drums
Record Label: Transcending Obscurity Records


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