This artist brings forward a brutal but necessary premise. For months, I have waited to draw incoherent conclusions on spine shattering death metal. To say I prayed is an understatement. I don’t celebrate Christmas, however netherworld Santa came early this year. This is Guillotine A.D. with Born to Fall.
For a debut album, you expect a death metal project to bare it all. Guillotine A.D. did not compromise. Vultures of Paradise is their opening single. With a death doom riff straight from the closets of hell, the brutal attack is evident. The instruments and growls splice to form a bloody rag staring at till comatose. As the riff takes its time to marinate, we get top shelf vocals-each leading into the deathly premise that awaits us. At 2;20, we board the ship to the lake of fire. Instrumentals bless us for a ride of a lifetime.
Exile is the next track, with a galloping drum intro. The guitars ride along, with blast beats soon accompanying the battery. The riffs are seasoned to deliberate as much as they choose to damage. Leading from riff to riff, we get the full assault soon, the band never losing time or a sense of melody (which I deem very important in death metal) and creating some chaotic narratives that can be experienced.
War First is a vivid look at the bleakness of death, tragedy and war. The riff guns down exactly what the sound would be like, while the drums sound like the strafing that the battlefield would experience. The riff change at 2:25 makes for a darker, more rhythmic fall that follows on the spine of thrash legends. It is one of their best composed work, both phrasing and execution wise.
Spiritual Insect is the next, another attack with purpose. The vocals especially stand out with the simpler, darker riff. As the spacing for the riff is to allow for each aspect to be absorbed. The bridge parts in between merge seamlessly into the next verse section, creating pockets where the riff can actually be appreciated. I Want to Believe engages in some ambient horror and syncopates/syncs in terms of rhythm to create something fresh. There is a real gravity given to the unison of the instruments. With a breathtaking solo, we hear harmonizing as well as crazy riffs that bring the heat.
The heat of the realm
The title track is next, and it is as iconic as you would presume it to be. The chugging riff and spiralling vocals as well as time changes make it a track to headbang to while really diving into the essence of the music. The pauses and reverence to silence creates powerhouses for the sound to return. By tone and all production measure, Guillotine A.D. have left no stone unturned. Hammer is the next track, a death ordained stroll that turns into the run of your life. With energetic pulses of guitar annihilation heading your war, it is evident that this band have a gift in creating blistering, bombshell songs.
The closing track is Madness of the Gods, a conceptual epic, that dives in and out of groove metal and builds towards the precipice. From there we plateau into the desired effect to transpire, and where hell comfortably breaks loose. Honestly, saved the best for last. In terms of thought and execution, it is an excruciating chapter in shift of theme, sound and narration.
Guillotine A.D. set out with an agenda to imprint their name in concrete. They’ve laid out a foundation for themselves. Using a melodic core, they have engineered 8 tracks that redefine death metal attack and bring back the music and intent of this kind of music. It abolishes performance tropes, and makes for dynamic themes that fans will enjoy. Listen to their stellar work here:
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Self professed metalhead, moderately well read. If the music has soul, it's whole to me. The fact that my bio could have ended on a rhyme and doesn't should tell you a lot about my personality.