Label: Immortal Souls Productions
Setting out to recall the old days of death metal, Our Demise does just that. The debut EP from four-piece Voracious Scourge sounds as if it could have crawled out of the late 80’s or early 90’s (albeit with a more modern production), blending technicality and brutality in impressive style. Featuring a veteran line-up – including former Suffocation drummer Mike Smith – Our Demise is a blistering 19 minutes of brutal death metal, that does what EPs are meant to do – it feels like a substantial enough record in its own right, whilst leaving the listener desperately wanting more.
Requisite introductory track ‘Vaticination’ sets the dark tone of the album, before ‘Harbringer of Our Own Demise’ really demonstrates what Voracious Scourge are all about. The technicality, brutal death metal it demonstrates is nothing short of crushing, and though it’s undeniably reminiscent of bands such as Suffocation, Vader, and Dying Fetus, there’s more than enough character for the song (and Voracious Scourge as a whole) to have their own identity. Melodic leads pop up at points during the EP, adding an unexpected element to the carnage that is unfolding around them, as if in mourning due to the death and destruction being unleashed.
The core sound of Our Demise is brutality though, and it’s this which is the chief appeal of the EP. ‘Fortuity of the Deceived’ features crushing, weighty palm-muted, chugging riffs that are every bit as heavy as you’d hope for, whilst closer ‘Oracle of Repugnane’ includes some superb movements where the guitars of Jason McIntyre (Suture) and bass play contrasting lines, giving the song a vast, spacious feel even as it pummels the listener in to submission. ‘Expiate the Depraved’ also demonstrates some excellent bass work from Lance Strickland (also of Suture). Over the course of EP, veteran vocalist Adrie Kloosterwaard (Sinister) demonstrates himself to still be an absolute monster, his roars being as powerful as ever. And I shouldn’t need to tell you that Mike Smith’s performance is superlative – he is one of metal’s best drummers, and to hear him behind the kit is always a delight, throwing in technical patterns and fills without ever losing forward momentum.
Our Demise‘s best moment, though, is during the closing track, when the band ease off around the 1:20 mark, shifting in to a spacious, jazzy moment, that provides an unexpected sense of contrast. It’s a twist that took me totally by surprise, and feels more and more effective with each listen, giving the EP a different aspect that makes the brutal death metal that is its core sound come across as being all the more effective. It’s something I’d like to hear more of on future releases, and something that many other bands could learn from.
Overall, Our Demise is a great EP, filled with top-tier technicality and brutality. Given that the band only formed last year, that it’s so strong is all the more impressive. Voracious Scourge are an exciting band, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they went on to become huge within the underground. Oh, and the artwork is killer, too!
Our Demise is available on CD and digital via Bandcamp.