Fires Of Tartarus – Self-Titled Debut EP Review

Demo CD’s rarely come this well-produced, but Fires Of Tartarus have not only already carved out their own stunningly brutal death metal sound, but they’ve also mastered the intricacies of getting a decent production job to the extent that their self-titled EP sounds (and looks) blisteringly professional.

A five track effort, the EP comes packaged with a four-page, full-colour booklet which is an especially nice touch, but really it’s all about the music and the band do not disappoint on any level with a dizzying bass hum growing into the exquisitely vicious ‘Adsum’, a track that sits between the full-on carnal assault of Cannibal Corpse and the mathematically-inclined art metal of Meshuggah. ‘Yawning void of chaos’ is, if anything, even heavier, Scott’s multi-faceted vocals tearing through the mix and the guitars of Dean and Andy played with terrifying dexterity. Indeed the whole band offer up a level of musicianship rarely heard on a band’s first recordings and there’s a confidence raging through the whole EP that not so much begs as demands your attention, particularly when a fret-board bothering solo is unleashed with mechanical precision just before the band switch gear into a menacing chug which is guaranteed to destroy the neck muscles of anyone attending one of the band’s shows. It’s stunningly heavy, with reference points ranging from the bass-laden thuggery of Fear Factory and Brujeria to the more complex meanderings of Meshuggah and Dillinger Escape Plan and it’s all delivered with frightening intensity.

Operating on a violent groove, ‘vindictive miscreation’ is pure, chrome-plated death metal, but once again it is Scott who walks away with the honours, his vocal performance a thing of astonishing range and power, whilst the change of pace that marks the conclusion of the song showcases a band with ambition to match their ability.. ‘Fragments’ gives drummer Nick a chance to shine, his titanium-plated rhythms the backbone to the furious sonic battering handed down by the band. The vocals, meanwhile, take on furious punk quality that sneers and scrapes across the mix. Final track ‘Macrocosm’ ends with all the ferocity of a multiple homicide, the riffs and storming percussive blasts soaking the walls with blood and leaving you sweaty and short of breath as your neck muscles start to cramp from the involuntary movement the band incite.

Fires of Tartarus are ample proof that if you want to find the best music of any given scene you need to look to the underground. Given the quality it’s hard to believe that this is *just* a demo and it makes the head spin to even think about what this band could do with some serious label support behind them, and with songs of this quality it is surely only a matter of time before that happens. Of course being a demo there are sonic limitations when compared to, say, Dying Fetus but these are easily ignored given the overall quality and impact of presentation.  In the meantime this stunning effort can be tracked down via the band’s store here; it costs a paltry £3.00 and for fans of extreme metal it cannot come highly recommended enough. Support your local scene and check out Fires of Tartarus before they get picked up by a label and you’re left feeling more than a little foolish for having missed them at the start!

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