A Pretext To Human Suffering - Rotting Sanctum

The year 2020 has probably been the most intelligent usage of time to form a band and create a record, especially if that release is able to be heavily promoted and released by the upcoming juggernaut label that is Reality Fade Records. So these US newcomers have hit a pretty sweet spot of success during the perilous chapters of the current pandemic.

A Pretext To Human Suffering feature members of Defleshed And Gutted, Lord Of War and Habitual Depravity, aswell as tons more artists that they're affiliated with. The high content of experience between every member leaves little room for ignorance. Fortunately for the band, the EP is brimful of innovative ideas, fresh for the realm of ultra brutal death metal. As the EP begins you're introduced to the genre immediately, there's no doubt about it that this is labelled brutal death, but the first noticeable interest for me is in the production. It's modern and crisp, each instrumental component is easily distinguished, allowing slight moments between them so they can be digested properly on a full attention listen. Brutal death is notorious to me for sounding blended and having a mega lack in structure, whereas A Pretext To Human Suffering are one of the tightest sounding on record.

The blast-beat frenzy of the drums don't swallow up the other instrumentation, nor are they drowned in the background like many bands in this crowd. They're trigger happy, almost mechanical in sound but surprisingly not digital. The vocals among the EP are of super diversity within the genre. At the start of the EP you're introduced to simplistic grunting and gravel-eating brees, but as you dive deeper into the record the vocals begin to unfold into a multiverse of talent and variety, often sounding like Infant Annihilator's Dickie Allen, using the Herculean and monstrous sounding zombie-tunnel throat vocals that Cattle Decapitation's Travis Ryan introduced to us years back.

The final track on the EP 'No Light Lives' appears alot louder in production than the other four tracks, taking on a meaty deathcore-esk persona, whilst the beginning four are very prog sounding for brutal death metal. The bass notes are delicious throughout and will leave you hungy for more. For a debut effort this is incredibly impressive overall, but that's to be expected with the experience the band have under their belt. Where will they take their sound on a future release, what will they accomplish on a debut album? These are the burning questions that after listening to this EP, will leave their fans asking in anticipation for more after hearing this forecast of excitement in the form of five brutal tracks.

4.5 / 5 STARSĀ 


1. Rotting Sanctum
2. Chain Of Command / / Oppression
3. Humanity's Final Cleanse
4. Loathe
5. No Light Lives