Monday, April 25, 2016

CD Review: POST MORTAL POSSESSION Forest Of The Damned

Forest Of The Damned
Post Mortal Possession is a Pittsburgh based death metal project formed in 2013. "Forest of the Damned" is the 2015 released 7-track EP that displays musical versatility as well as a high emphasis on precision and switching styles at a breakneck speed and flawless musical delivery.
Commencing "Forest Of The Damned" is "Enter" beginning with samples of footsteps on gravel- accompanied by the eerie sounds of a nocturnal insect cacophony provide an effective and understated background. Leaving the listener with a certain feeling of isolation- while the footsteps rapidly increasing pace adds a more urgent feel to "Enter". Drone samples add a frantic element to an urgent and unearthly feel- while a final bang adds a final and sudden conclusion to this track. A interesting and commanding track that immediately intrigues interest.
"Skinwalker" begins with a catchy yet heavy guitar line- a stark contrast to "Enter". The aural onslaught of hammering, grinding guitars and relentlessly consistent drum lines provide a perfect contrast to the blackened screaming vocals. A brief break shifts rapidly into a slamming, unrelenting death metal sound- complete with growling, harsh vocals. A break of harmonised guitars combined with a precise and brutal approach to the drum lines off-set the pared back vocals- allowing the emphasis to be placed upon the music mid- track. Shifting rapidly and flawlessly back into the harsh growling vocals accentuated by the frantic and brutal approach musically to this section of "Skinwalker" ensures a musically diverse track. The vocal range and diversity is admirable- as are the rapid shifts in pace and cadence in combination with the insanely intense drum work. A shift towards a more blackened death feel towards the conclusion of the track provides a hectic and chaotic experience. Shifting back into the brutal technical death metal conclusion complete with screaming, intense riffs and an abrupt brutal end leaves the listener awaiting the next track.
"Gallows Hill" does not disappoint- commencing forcefully and instantly into this track with a literal, brutal wall of sound beginning the aural assault. Drum lines are both technical and masterful in their precise approach while understated guitars with their heavy use of distortion contrast the guttural vocals- making it musically precise and cohesive. Rapid shifts between brutal musical interludes provide a chaotic and unrelenting feel to this track-now determined to be characteristic of "Forest of the Damned". Continual shifts between brutal death and blackened death metal serves to aid in gaining intensity mid-track. After once again shifting into a brief death metal refrain- a rapid switch to a blackened death feel and returning to the chaotic death metal equally as flawlessly ensures the listener is captivated. The switches is musical style throughout this track- while still remaining melodic, technical and intense- is admirable and is reflective of the dedication of the musicians in the form of a comprehensive and brutally technical track that is "Gallows Hill".
"The Evil That Surrounds" commences with a grinding, brutally insane death metal approach- the guttural growling vocals complimented by the droning and melodic guitars provide a brutal and technical approach. The use of rapid switches between musical styles and pace characteristic of Post Mortal Possession's adept ability to combine technical death metal and blackened death metal flawlessly and intelligently is to be admired. Technical drum work combined with aggressive guitar lines provide a fitting background to further amplify the vocal styling. The brief but technical instrumental provides a welcome interlude before once again commencing the technical brutal insanity that is typical of Post Mortal Possession. A chaotic and oddly melodic refrain provides a musically intelligent and cohesive contrast to the abrupt conclusion of "The Evil That Surrounds".
"Devices Of Death" commences with a rapid blast of drums shifting into an onslaught of guitars and guttural vocals, now further reinforced to the listener as part of Post Mortal Possession's characteristic musical style. With a more rapid cadence and pace to "Devices of Death" ensures an attention-grabbing track through it's sheer brutal and technical insanity. An unrelenting brutal assault- "Devices of Death" is a masterful and technically consistent track. A rapid shift into a more blackened death feel provides added intensity and an insight into the musical diversity displayed within this release and proceeds to reach a new level of brutality while remaining consistent to the concept of "Forest of the Damned". A mid track instrumental interlude provides an insight into the sheer speed and musical cohesiveness of "Devices of Death". Masterful in it's technicality, this track is absolutely ear catching and genuinely enthralling. Aggressive and unapologetic for being so- combined with rapid tempo shifts serve to remind you of a musically diverse, technically talented and intelligent release.
"Implements of Hell" commences with a blackened death feel to this track while refraining the brutal style prevalent throughout "Forest Of The Damned". Switching rapidly to a brief, guttural vocal interlude spliced with a roaring, aggressive approach combined with an uncompromising and unapologetic brutal intensity complete the feel to this track. Calculated, chaotic and forceful- briefly split by technical interludes broken by rapid shifts into a guttural vocal section proves to be both brutal and commanding. A melodic and chaotic musical intensity provided by the precise guitar and drum lines provides a musically cohesive and balance to "Implements of Hell". Mid track continual shifts in tempo add to the chaotic element while providing the brutality the listener has began to expect of this release. Intense, grinding instrumentals provide a blackened death feel with splintering screams. Interspersed between guttural death growls- a chaotic and intense instrumental interval launches the listener into a blackened death concluding section. The sheer brutality, aggressiveness and forcefulness of the conclusion of this track proves to be a musically cohesive and precise conclusion.
"Forest of the Damned" begins with the rapid, cohesive and technically intelligent drumlines consistent throughout the entire release- serving to lift this track further into a niche of its own. The listener gains the feel that this is a band uncompromising to the extreme- judging by the particular intensity displayed within this masterful and brutal track. Howling guitar riffs complete the unrelenting feel, aided by the guttural growls accentuate the chaotic vibe to the namesake track of this release. Nothing is understated about "Forest of the Damned"- legitimately intense with constant tempo changes ensure a musically sound and consistent concluding track. The mid track instrumental interval displaying rapid and technical drum and guitar work show the musical consistency of Post Mortal Possession. The blackened death interval complete with tortured black metal screams shifts seamlessly into an intense death metal aural assault serves to display the musical diversity of this track. An aggressive guitar interval leading up to a technical and rapid paced drum section leads straight into the next death metal section.
"Forest Of The Damned" is characterized by technical death metal styling aided by an uncompromising technical aspect and an unapologetic approach to the sheer intensity displayed. Shifting cadence rapidly into a more melodic but still grinding death metal approach broken briefly by bursts of drum work and shifting swiftly into a blackened death feel. Technical and intense intervals provide a welcome interlude with black metal screams aiding the slightly mournful yet aggressive feel. A blackened and distorted feel brings heed to the conclusion of this track with a riff and intervals switching between brutal and frantic sections provide a fitting and cohesive conclusion.
A musically masterful release by Post Mortal Possession- "Forest of the Damned" is a release that instantly commands your attention for the technical aspects. The musical diversity displays an obvious devotion to Post Mortal Possession and their trademark brutal sound- the proof being in the rapid shifts between technical and blackened death metal is to be admired. Sheer and intelligent brutality at its finest with every aspect of this release being musically tight, cohesive and technical. "Forest of the Damned" proves to be a release that is both intelligent and brutal- I look forward to hearing more of Post Mortal Possession. -Sarah McKellar

Track list:
1. Enter
2. Skinwalker
3. Gallows Hill
4. The Evil That Surrounds
5. Devices of Death
6. Implements of Hell
7. Forest of the Damned

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