March 30, 2010 | | 3.5

Spazmosity, Welcome Death

Spazmosity: Welcome Death

Hurling blackened death metal with a vengeance, this Stockholm band has only released a handful of demos since their inception back in 1994. Welcome Death is their first proper full length debut and I’ll be damned if Spazmosity don’t sound like they mean business — serious, cause-personal-harm-type business.

The band now touts Ola Lindgren of Grave fame as their lead growler, but at the time of this recording he only makes a brief appearance on the album’s opening track. Long time growler Peter Emanuelsson (with the band since 1998) departed shortly after the recording of the this debut. While the vocal work on Welcome Death is pretty damned impressive, I can’t wait to hear the band’s take on blackened death metal with Lindgren at the reigns.

With regard to the mayhem confined within the album’s nine songs, the band shifts from face peeling blasts influenced heavily with a black metal vibe to slower tempo devastation that leans more toward traditional death metal. There are times when the tone of each song is so similar that they tend to bleed into the next song, effectively blurring into the background — which is unfortunate to say the least because there’s some good shit going on throughout the disc.

You’ve just got to love a band of guys that don’t waste any time letting you get to know them. I’m not sure if “Regicide” is a nod to the death of a local monarch or the holy one himself, but that really doesn’t make much of a difference as the blistering, blackened riffs open up the album with a good deal of fury. This song is a manic, up-tempo beast of a track chock full with dissonant black metal tones over a pummeling death metal base. Hell yeah!

Iron Coffin
“Iron Coffin” carries the dissonant guitar tones while the rhythm section unleashes holy hell with blasting fury on an apocalyptic scale. The vocals seem to be that much more guttural and evil in their delivery throughout this song and it really makes the overall feel of the track that much more aggressive. So far so good with Welcome Death. There are a few guitar sweeps that permeate through the thick riffing, adding an additional layer to the bands sound.

“Prelude” is a brief, one minute instrumental that perhaps would have served better as an outro or intro to the album. It’s placement is a bit of a bummer as it breaks up the unrelenting beating the band has so far doled out.

Forged By Steel
After that short respite the guys get back to business with a much slower paced, yet beefier “Forged By Steel.” There are a few frenetic eruptions from the drums that pepper this song, but for the most part it’s a slow moving beast of glacial proportions. This song is a beast!

March Of Death
The opening few seconds of “March of Death” set the stage with atmospheric sound effects and dissonant guitars, leaving you shrouded in a veil of darkness. The overall tone of the song has a more traditional, mid-tempo black metal feel. The vocal work only adds to that vibe with extended screams that tend to fade to the background. The spoken lyrics are a bit odd to me as they sort of take away from the bleak atmosphere, but I suppose I could ignore them in future spins of the album. This song features guest guitars by Alexander Motor of the Russian band Grenouer.

13 Millers Court
I love the title to this next one. It alludes to the murder scene of Mary Jane Kelly by Jack the Ripper — you may have heard of him. The band takes the topic to a deep, dark place with bleak guitars and guttural vocal mayhem. There are a couple of momentum shifts in this song, but for the most part the band lays down a massive, crushing wall of destruction. Man, I wish I had the lyrics to this song. At least I have the song’s sweet, head banging groove to make up for it.

The Art Of War
“The Art of War” has a slightly brighter sound than the previous homage to one of the most famous bad guys in history. The vocals are deep and nasty as fuck, but the guitars breathe a bit more and are tinged with a black metal grime. At just over 6:40 in length, this is bruising, monolithic song that will dominate your soul.

The Infernal Dynasty
The opening to this next song, while relatively minimal sounding, is catchy as all get out. After the past couple of slower moving songs, Spazmosity get back into the blasting, blackened death with some furious riffing and aggressive vocal delivery that is violent as hell. I’m loving this shit! This is probably my favorite song on the disc.

I was curious what “panopticon” meant, so off to the internets I raced. It’s either a term “…describe the universal availability of imagery collected via camera and video surveillance..” or this badass prison system that uses circular structure in order to observe “…prisoners without the incarcerated being able to tell whether they are being watched…” Either way, the song erupts through my speakers with a frenzied, blasting attack that’s sure to leave you breathless as you try to keep your head banging in time with the aural onslaught.

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