Production: Armored bass-heavy and clear.
Review: Bringing together the elements of thunderous American death metal and the technicality of experimental bands like Suffocation or Meshuggah, this ultra-synchronized band produce the chanting chorus and blast of heavy old school death metal within percussive binary data blasts of power chord strikes exploding through several layers of rhythm shifting to allow an evolutionary phrase to unleash in final blast of driving theme. Instrumentalism is impressive all-around and vocals are of the gutteral puking that makes lesser bands drool, delivered in linear rigor that propels the music with violence.
Intelligent music with a clear path along which to develop, Acerbus provide in death metal what is needed to maintain the soul of the music and give it life as time and waves of bands pass: inventiveness within a technical spirit that does not over-obsess and drown out the narrative and progression of each song, and in that a hope for an eternal language of death metal for the specific doubts and terrors of ambitious souls in a time of great darkness.
Production: Swollen tissues of engorged distortion.
Review: This ambitiously titled work takes death metal to new heights within familiar shapes. In the might of its pummeling strength, the heritage of deathgrind technique from Suffocation to Pyaemia makes its appearance and is expanded by the efforts of this band to make something. Their emergence into the avantgarde is matched by relentless technically and, where linear in concept, assumes such a role as part of its experimental and unfinished nature leading up to album material.
Three songs of tight and unyielding metal utilize lead guitar playing as a rhythm instrument of taut textural and tonal integration to an ongoing narrative of unstoppable, microdivided rhythm. Where there is aspiration to the sacred, in clear gestures to rid metal of some of its clonelike expectations, there is here most profoundly a joy in the profane for the sake of the music itself. The explosive guttural rumbling of vocals saturates the listener with a disturbing scent of feral atavism. Drums anchor the wash of roaring bass-heavy sound with inventive patterns which display a sense of humor within their carapace of seriousness. Worthy of mention also is an adept bassist who could teach the guy from Cannibal Corpse a thing or two. Where technical deathgrind continues to grow, this band forges ahead upholding the principle that music, independent of style, should be adventurous.
1 - Kingdom of the Blind (1:36)
2 - Malkuth (1:36)
3 - Architectonic (2:28)
4 - Blackening of Souls (2:42)
5 - The Normal State of Man (1:55)
6 - Living Death (3:03)
7 - Unknown 1 (1:54)
8 - Unknown 2 (2:38)
9 - Unknown 3 (2:35)
Live at KVRX (Acerbus, 2003)
Late in their short career, Austin technical death metal band Acerbus stopped by the University of Texas radio station to record a live set consisting of their nine recorded works to date. It's a shame this recording did not happen in a studio, because in it the band have both relaxed and refined their instrumental precision to its apex, resulting in crisp leads and fast riffs which ring clearly yet fall into their own internal groove. Even better, bass is more audible than on the studio recordings and so we can hear what was a large part of their sound, which was an internal dialogue between the more laconic bass and the frenzied guitars. Had this band lived, they might have dropped some of the guitar special effects and focused more on the kind of flesh-tearing but precise riffing we hear here.