|Review: Repugnant - Epitome of Darkness|
|Epitome of Darkness|
Label: Soulseller Records
Year released: 2006
Genre: Death Metal
Review online: September 30, 2011
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
for:Epitome of Darkness
Bands mining the raw, old school death metal vein are hardly short in supply these days, so you're going to have to play pretty fucking hard to make a wave. Repugnant do exactly that, and are one of, if not the finest bands paying homage to the older bands. Whereas your average old school Swedish death metal worship band will go straight for the Entombed, Dismember or Unleashed school, Repugnant blow the dust off Morbid, Merciless and Nihilist (even covering the obscure "Another Vision" from Morbid).
Epitome of Darkness is a collection of gnarly, savage, thrashing death metal, with distinct horror themes and an ever so slight tongue in the cheek. The production is suitably raw, with a hard edged guitar tone sounding as though it were secreting from age-old speakers, encrusted with a thick layer of dust, stale booze and cigarettes. The bass is right up in the mix, going hand in hand with the guitar tone for a crushing wall of sound, which coupled with an organic-sounding drum kit results in near apocalyptic levels of mayhem. The vocals are between the thrash and death styles, with a lot more in common with the late 80's style than the "cookie monster" growls that would later hit the scene.
The album kicks off in great style with "Hungary are the Damned" a doom-style intro leads into an explosion of madness, continually pummeling you and we have the ridiculously brilliant "Nosferatu, inside of you" line. The lead tone throughout this album is godly, with an otherworldly 70's vibe to it, reminding me of B-Horror and Sci-Fi films at times. "Premature Burial" is another ass-kicker, in the middle a bass line leads into a head-thumping riff and singer Mary Goore utilizes a vocal effect similar to what Morbid Angel used in "Where the Slime Live". The album is stacked the brim with violent odes to horror and death, but the absolute standout has to be "Eating From a Coffin" with a chorus you can't help bellow along to, this track seeps stomach-busting riffs and skin scathing leads all over the place; awesome.
If I'm being honest, I think this is one of the finest death metal albums to come out in the last ten years. Repugnant sneer and cackle behind a giant, defiant middle finger waved in the face of mainstream music and modern production. Excellent homage to the greats who defined a genre, however Epitome of Darkness doesn't end at merely homage. Get this now.
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