Fractured in the Timeless Abyss
Formed from the ashes of death/thrash metal outfit Bloated Carcass, the members behind the band return as Ectovoid, playing a rather different style of death metal, with a tinge of black metal added to their sound. This year sees Ectovoid releasing their debut full length album entitled Fractured in the Timeless Abyss and unlike the gory themes that Bloated Carcass had focussed on, Ectovoid presents a different side of the band, and instead sees the band focussing on more, shall we say, philosophical concepts.
Like the many old-school death metal revival gems out there, Fractured in the Timeless Abyss‘ raw and muddy production quality is immediately noticed right from the start, and the playing style of the band is extremely reminiscent to pioneers Incantation, early Incantation and the likes, with the dark and heavy atmosphere, the riffs that alternate between crushing and oppressive ones and furious trem-picked ones, and the gruff growls of vocalist Chuck. At times, Chuck even ups the abrasiveness of the record with the layering of higher pitched shrieks on top of his growls. The slight thrash elements that are present in the music of Ectovoid at times also bring to mind bands like Perversor with their blackened brand of death/thrash metal, with the frantic pace of the music, mainly courtesy of drummer Chris who tears apart his drum set without mercy, and easily transiting between furious segments and heavier and intense segments.
Throughout the record as well, Michael includes some stark contrast in the music with his soaring lead guitar works that stand out from the low, bassy rhythm guitars on the album. The lead works also range from an absolutely chaotic style to one that is extremely melodic, displaying his versatility on his instrument. The thing that really topped the entire experience of Fractured in the Timeless Abyss is the raw production quality of the album, bringing listeners back to the late 80s/early 90s and is reminiscent of records such as Onward to Golgotha, providing a touch of authenticity compared to the modern production style that many bands tend to prefer nowadays. The muddiness of the record allowed for the low, chugging riffs, the bass and the drums to have a really hard-hitting impact on the listener, increasing the intensity of the music.
Honestly, in this day and age where old school death metal revival bands are a dime a dozen, it is hard to find any discernible difference between releases, and Ectovoid suffers from the same problem, with little unique elements that make it really stand out, apart from the lyrical themes that the band indulges in. However, with the superb execution that is displayed on Fractured in the Timeless Abyss, this is album is still a gem that will certainly appeal to fans of OSDM.