Saturday, 4 January 2014

Never To Arise - Hacked To Perfection


I'm revisiting a death metal album here that came out back in 2012, but that may have passed some people by, which is strange because a death metal album with the title Hacked To Perfection should get people's attention!

Never To Arise are a duo from St Petersburg, Florida. This is their debut album, which was released by badGod Music (now Cimmerian Shade Recordings). They've been a little quiet since the released of Hacked To Perfection, but they are due to release a new album this year.

Tracklist:-

1. The Femicidal Impulse
2. Hyperbaric Torture Chamber
3. Sloppy Surgery
4. In Debasement
5. Mutilation Supreme
6. Bereft of Conscience
7. I Made Her Famous
8. Snuff Film Superstar
9. Devoured By Wolves
10. Misogynistic Acts of Barbaric Sadism

I like my death metal with shed-loads on musicality and not just pure brutal gargling and Never To Arise appeal to my sense right from the off, with a glorious solo at the start of The Femicidal Impulse. It’s a little strange having a drum machine in the mix, but it sounds really good here and matches the technicality of the guitar and bass. Never To Arise initially let their instruments do the talking, with not much in the way of vocals in this opening track. It reminds me a bit of UK death metal act Regurgitate Life.

After the initial blast of drum machine filled savagery, Hyperbaric Torture Chamber offers up some mayhemic blast beats and more screaming leads. The guttural growls are more prevalent in this song as well. When the band settles down to a groove, the music takes on a distinct thrash flavour, albeit briefly. The flatlining heart-rate monitor at the start of Sloppy Surgery nigh on deafens you before the guitars kick in. There are some nice guitar harmonies during the song though and some skill-full picking too. It seems that Never To Arise have got a good handle on mixing both new and old-school influences into their brand of death. There’s plenty of energy within the recording as well, even without the physical manifestation of a drummer. 

As with most brutal, gore infested death metal, Hacked To Perfection doesn’t let up in the pace department. Even during the mid-pace sections in songs like In Debasement, there’s still an undercurrent of speed. Sometimes it crosses into goregrind territory, which is no bad thing in my book. They do wheel out some progressive death with Mutilation Supreme. Okay, so it’s still a fast song but it’s over six-minutes in length, which on a death metal album like this is bloody progressive! Joking aside though, it’s actually a really good track as it seems more minimal that previous cuts and features more varied textures. They throw a bit of chug into the closing passage of the song and along with the clean solo, show off their musical prowess.

After that masterclass, they’re back to what they know best. Bereft of Conscience manages to take parts from Mutilation Supreme and Never To Arise mix those parts with more lightning-paced drumming. This is the kind of extreme metal that you could use in a speed-headbanging contest, if there was such a sport! Talking of speed, try and keep yourself still during I Made Her Famous. Perversely though, it’s the slower parts that will to make you move more, such is the heaviness that they throw out. It flows instantly into Snuff Film Superstar, which at times seems to an off-kilter jazz vibe to it, below the growls and programmed drums. It’s actually the fastest song on Hacked To Perfection. Devoured By Wolves follows in the same vein, but seems to end very abruptly.

Never To Arise reach into their progressive back pockets for one final time with the epic, eight-minute closer Misogynistic Acts of Barbaric Sadism. It’s a pretty grand way to finish the record too. The band seems to have settled into their technical stride and sound truly accomplished throughout. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this record, but finishing on a high like this has made it very worthwhile. The hints of old-school death and thrash that go hand in hand with modern touches make it a great album to listen to if you’re a death metal fan. 

Listen to Hacked To Perfection in full here:-



It's available as a pay-what-you-want download from the bandcamp link above, as well as on CD and as part of a CD/T-shirt package deal.

Never To Arise Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Never-To-Arise
Cimmerian Shade Recordings - https://www.facebook.com/CimmerianShadeRecordings

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