Bestial Deform – ‘Severed To Pieces’ EP Review

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Short and anything but sweet, this limited edition EP from Bestial Deform (just 500 copies on CD) is a thrillingly toxic blend of flesh-crawling death metal and devilish groove that benefits from a strong production job, impressive musicianship and suitably grotesque artwork. Having been active since 1990, the Russian band have along and impressive history with four full-length albums to their name as well as a slew of Eps and demos. This disc, released back in 2014, showcases the band at their devilish best and should be high on the list for any death metal aficionados.

The EP opens with the demonic title track, a crushing, malevolent piece of work that sounds like Slayer and Lamb of God going to-to-toe with Cannibal Corpse. Whilst the latter band clearly influences the guttural utterances of Kirill Ulanenkov and the pulverising blast beats of Anton Fedekha, the dark groove the band suddenly switch in to owes as much to the former bands, whilst Kirill’s guitar flourishes also point toward more progressive tinged acts like Gojira. There’s no let up on the brutality, though, and ‘severed to pieces’ showcases a band comfortable enough with their art to explore multiple tempos and structures without letting up on the essential heaviness. The second track, ‘symbol of salvation’, is no less impressive with Kirill once again dragging his battered voice to hell and back as the band lay down an impressively ugly backdrop. It’s heavy as hell, but once again it’s the interesting flourishes the band bring in that attract the attention, the sudden tempo changes that raise the hair on the back of the neck or the snatches of clean guitar (buried deep within the mix) that add just a touch of dynamic to the otherwise devastating picture.

Bestial Deform play brutal, uncompromising death metal. It’s a crowded market, to be sure, but with a long recording history behind them, Bestial Deform deserve more attention than most as their experience has given them the desire and the ability to explore the genre to its limits. What sets the band apart, perhaps, is the fact that the EP is left admirably raw, a stark contrast in the face of the clinical death metal that seems to pour out of America these days, and that raw feel only adds to the band’s potency. Death metal fans should track this limited EP down, it may be short, but it sure as hell packs one hell of a punch!

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