Extremity – “Extremely Fucking Dead”

A classic, morbid painting like this (by Théodore Gericault, if you’re curious) usually makes me think of funeral doom, but in this case, California-based Extremity are peddling old-school death metal in the same hardened vein as the Swedish classics. Fans of Unleashed, Dismember, Grave, Sorcery, open your auditory organs: this album’s going to tickle you the right way.

“Extremely Fucking Dead” is Extremity’s debut, but there isn’t any first-album naiveté to be found here. All members have extensive pedigrees in other bands like Vastum, Vhol, Agalloch, Exhumed and even deathgrind legends Repulsion. Their cumulative experience is considerable, and it shows. The playing is tight and intentional; Extremity set out with an agenda and stuck to it. It’s a concise album that doesn’t overstay its welcome at five minutes short of a half hour. A brief intro sets the mood for the five subsequent songs and culminates in an iconic line from “Pet Sematary:”

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How fitting. “Crepuscular Crescendo” lurches out of your speakers like a shambling graveyard horror lunging for its first kill. The sound is just right for the album; the buzzsaw guitars resound with a production as beefy and chunky as any Campbell’s soup you can find. It keeps a dirty, exhumed feel without compromising any of the heaviness. A nasty see-sawing riff fills out the middle section before the song closes out as strong as it started.

“Bestial Destiny” kicks in with a riff that sounds like a song Entombed forgot to record for “Clandestine.” There’s nothing wrong with sounding like legends of old, and Extremity pull it off well. Extremely fucking well. Really? We’ve sunk to that? You betcha, sweetheart.

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“Chalice of Pus” opens up blasting with a riff reminiscent of Incantation, but reels back and forth from that and the Swedish sound. When you’re up to that sort of nonsense, a short mid-song acoustic interlude is called for, and it really enhances the track’s already morbid atmosphere. “Fatal Immortality” (wait, what?) and the title track continue along with their business, before appropriately ending the album with a heart monitor beeping the telltale sound of death.

Let’s be honest – a trait that, for better or for worse, rarely eludes me – you already made up your mind if you’ll like this album before the first paragraph ended. The short running time might be a turn-off for some, but each track is quality and memorable. If old-school Swedish death metal is your thing, you’re going to enjoy this walk down that well-trodden path. You might not see any new scenery, but maggots are crawling underfoot and human remains are rotting in the moonlight, and you’re looking forward to kicking them all out of your way on your stroll.

 

 

 

You can find Voidhanger over on twitter talking about screaming, metal, and radioactive squirrels.

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