Thursday, April 19, 2012

Septekh - The Seth Avalanche EP (2012)

When your record opens with a track called "Fuckslut from Hell", then you've got a lot to live up to, and Sweden's Septekh gives it their damned and damnable best. The style they've embraced to do so is a blend of splatter punk, speed/thrash and death metal with a lot of riffs that just explode right out of the beat, and an abrasively loud vocalist in Nils Meseke who draws from that old time Kreator school of thought but cranks it up to 11, almost as if the Witchery vocalist Toxiene was barking at you through a megaphone. The guy sounds like he's spitting up blood and phlegm with nearly every phrasing, but while I admit I enjoy such abusive enthusiasm, there were points where I thought it hovered perhaps a little too loud in the mix.

I was also expecting a little more of an Egyptology concept here, judging by the band name and the title of the EP, so it threw me off a little that this was slut starved street fucking alcoholic blasphemy, but I wouldn't say that was an unwelcome thing. Six songs here, most of which rock with a fueled determination, whether they're meting out the speed metal/Motörhead details of "Fuckslut from Hell", the leaden mosh grooves of "Blunt Force to the Head" or even the slightly more clinical, Germanic speed/thrash riffing in "Shoot Them All". I will admit that a lot of the slower riffs here are pretty weak, predictable chug patterns that don't add much to the band's carefree and volatile momentum. I found myself far more invested in the faster bits like the song "Not Quite What I Had in Mind" which is pure, accelerated, aggression, but the overall best song was the finale, their own namesake "The Seth Avalanche" which is loud, brutal death/thrash in the vein of countrymen Raise Hell circa Not Dead Yet.

All in all, with the possible exception of the vocals needing to be dialed back just a notch, I'd say that Septekh got themselves a really great production here. The guitar tone feels punchy and full bodied, apt to handle either the crunch of the muted thrashing sequences or the renegade rush of the punk inflected chords. The lyrics, from what I can make of them, seem pretty down to earth, layman hymns of murder and Satanic woman bringing great harm to your private parts. You know, any regular Friday night for the deviant death/thrasher. Or do they start on Thursday night like the frat guys? Either way, I can't say I was in love with The Seth Avalanche. There were a half dozen riffs here which had me whipping my phantom mullet into a frenzy, but ultimately there was little memorable impact. They've got a lot of their pieces in place on the board, but the strategy needs sharpening.

That said, fans who are heavily into the sounds of acts like Deathhammer, Witchery, Raise Hell, Cruel Force, Witchburner, which merge thrash, death (or black) metal influences with a bit of punk mayhem personality, could get a kick out of this. A kick in the face. So check it out and see what you think.

Verdict: Indifference [6.5/10]

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