Affliction Gate - Dying Alone

French death metallers hit my radar in 2009 with their debut full length "Aeon Of Nox (From Darkness Comes Liberation)" an album I enjoyed considerably at the time. With a scant discography of a single EP, "Shattered Ante Mortem Illusions" in 2012 that left me nonplussed I relegated the band to the back of my mind as one that had potential but didn't fulfil it. Today's death metal scene is huge and teeming with top quality acts so I was a little surprised to get this new EP effort which sees the band upping their game with four tunes of incendiary death metal that sit closer to the debut full length than the EP in 2012.

Momentum is everything for bands these days and waiting four years for new product is never going to do a band any favours of keeping a band relevant but with this new release the band is firmly back on my currently what's hot list. There is a gnarly gruesomeness about this EP that I find particularly addictive as the organic sounding production affords the drums a malodorous pungency that sit with the rumbling bass extremely well on the opener 'Negative Lucidity'. Blending some very tuneful lead breaks enables the song to be lifted out of the fret board acrobatics that a lot of death metal bands prefer. Tempo shifts abound in these songs creating huge amounts of momentum to keep the songs fresh and avoiding predictability with ease with case in point being 'Devising Our Own Chains' a thoroughly rampant warring sortie of double kick and thundering riffing.

With the saturation in the death metal genre being at its peak since the late 80s and early 90s bands like Affliction Gate are a breath of fresh rancid air by digging deep into the subterranean tunnels of grisly old school song structures that made death metal such a dominant force in extreme music. The title track has a gradual fade in riff with sauntering double kick that eventually rockets the pace upwards to a sound not too dissimilar to early era Morgoth. Closing this EP is 'Manicheism Inertia' which announces itself with a battering snare blast that is a little out of kilter with the style of the other songs but no less melodic all the same. The tempo fluctuations with this EP are what I like immensely, keeping the foot on the gas when needed but also easing up to allow the songs to flow like the exsanguination of stagnant bodily fluids. This French outfit has come up with a top end death metal release and I hope that we don't have to wait another four years for the next effort which hopefully will be a sophomore full length.

  1. Negative Lucidity
  2. Devising Our Own Chains
  3. Dying Alone
  4. Manicheism Inertia