One of the best things about working on a website like SonicAbuse is the possibility of hearing music you may otherwise never have heard. This morning an EP arrived on my doorstep from the Italian extreme metal band Across the swarm, who deal in a virulent strain of death metal so relentlessly brutal that it casts a black pall across the room whenever you put it in your player. Technically excellent and with a desire to innovate that sees the band incorporating elements of drum and bass into their devastating assault. The result is an impressive EP that will undoubtedly appeal to tech metal fans the world over.
Offering five tracks over a mere eighteen minutes, the EP is a blink-and-miss-it blast that grabs the listener firmly by the hair and refuses to let go until the end. Opening blast ‘hang out’ sets the tone perfectly with its furious blast beats, sample augmented noise and Francesco A Flagiello’s wounded roar. It is gleaming, state-of-the-art death metal delivered with furious precision by the whole band and it is impossible to listen and not feel the adrenalin surge around the body. ‘Just bodies’ ups the intensity levels with Riccardo Grechi delivering a performance that rivals The Berzerker for mechanistic precision whilst the drum and bass samples are cleverly integrated into the music in a way that augments the song without sounding gimmicky. ‘Cynical eyes’ is tooled-up electro-metal aggression delivered with a mechanical intensity that few bands can match, the astonishing performance of all the musician s involved displaying an unprecedented level of maturity and skill. ‘Formless wreck’ is a chrome-plated blast of toxic death metal, not even pausing for breath as riffs are unleashed like weapons, whilst Luca Lodi’s samples tear holes in the song’s surface, pushing the music to a whole new level of grimy brutality. Final track ‘like water’ rounds out the EP in similar style leaving the listener sweaty and exhausted.
The quest for death metal perfection is ever ongoing with bands forever seeking to up the ante on what has gone before. The stuttering, electro-metal menace of Across the Swarm is truly breath taking in the level of intensity achieved and the levels of musicianship on display are truly awe-inspiring. If you want a sinus-clearing dose of unremitting sonic violence, then Across the Swarm should be high on your list of bands to check out.
You can find out more at www.acrosstheswarm.com