Monday, August 30, 2010

Godless - Ecce Homo: Post Lux Tenebras, Pulsio XIII Ultima Ratio (2010)

Gods damn the Latin language and all its derivatives! What else could be responsible for the wall of text title that graces this Chilean band's debut album except pretentious overspending in that department? Well, Godless may in fact be smarter than I, or at least more patient to pore over the ancient texts of linguistics in the creation of their long awaited debut Ecce Homo, but they were kind enough to include the English lyrics within the booklet itself, and they're well written enough to cast lucid dispersions across the vast face of yawning morbidity that their music conjures direct from whatever abstract hell they spawned forth from.

Yes, this is a dark trip, one that engages both the fondness for well composed, old school death metal and serious lyrical extractions that betray the more basal hordes of torture porn addicts that have ultimately inherited this genre's market. To describe Godless in bulk is not easy, but think of an unholy accumulation of the aesthetics that formed Morbid Angel, Gorguts, Incantation, and Obituary from the primordial matter of nothingness to count them among the very forces that will herald us all back to that state when the cosmic shit hits the fan in the end and subsequent rebirth of all matter. Churning, filthy grooves wrap their tentacles around the listener like the needy appendages of an Elder God, while the band swarms through a dynamic range of hostile intentions that fabricate emotions from death/doom to death/grind at their polar extremities, with the true strength lying somewhere in between.

I cannot promise that the band are venomous enough riff writers to compose individual standouts, but taken in the full 46 minute dosage, Ecce Homo is one destructive fucking ritual that should truly capitalize on the current wave of retro, morbid old school death in which the repressed, cavernous emotions eclipse the wreath of technicality that adorns the sculpted script of modernity in brutal death. However, the band incorporates just enough progression that I feel they have something to offer nearly anyone who listens through this and can grin and bear it. Tracks like "Infrapanopticon Sublimatio" and "Nihil Coronat Opus" are brilliant executions of grimy bombast that seem to tear through time and space, pulling the listener through the endless chasms of bleeding flesh in between, as if through the guts of a living being to which you are no more than a micro-parasite waiting to be quelled.

Whether you seek abysmal grooves, guttural and passionate vocal exclamations or the thrusting and jabbing desolation of artsy death metal out on the fringe of viability, Godless have your number. I wouldn't label this record 'accessible', and it may take a few complete sit-throughs to appreciate in fullness, but ultimately the reward is worth the patience. I am reminded slightly of the excellent Merciless Hammer of Lucifer by US act Drawn & Quartered, which shared some of the same dense, disturbing influences and had a similar process of slowly acquainting and acquitting you from a most ghastly palette of surreality, but fans of everything from Portal to Incantation will find much to celebrate within this record's bowels.

Verdict: Win [8/10]

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