GORTAL
"Blastphemous Sindecade"

(Pagan)

01. Insight
02. Perversity Rites
03. Black-Purest-Desecration
04. Forgotten Writing
05. Unleash Hell
06. Deathamation
07. Beast-War-Terror
08. Obscene Nazarene
09. Blastphemy

RATING: 7/10

Has GORTAL really been in existence since 1996? I guess when the death metal ground is as fertile as it is in Poland you are bound to miss the occasional ball-busting act. In keeping with the country's proud tradition of technically accomplished, well written, and chunky-as-hell death metal, "Blastphemous Sindecade" may not make folks forget about acts like BEHEMOTH and DECAPITATED, but they're a pretty good bet to satisfy those same folks.

While it is true that "Blastphemous Sindecade" possesses many of the staccato patterns and distinctly guttural growls of its countrymen, the band has just as much in common with its American death metal brethren, including acts like DEEDS OF FLESH, VILE, and HATE ETERNAL. You'll be reminded of KRISIUN as well. GORTAL terrorizes the populace with blind, blast-beaten speed, but also peppers the songs with a fairly wide range of riffs and patterns. In other words, you are not simply hearing the same song played eight times (the first track, "Insight", is an intro). GORTAL injects the occasional Middle Eastern mystic vibe into its tunes as well, just like a certain South Carolina band. A song such as "Unleash Hell" succeeds as much for its straight brutality as it does for the nuance in the guitar parts, namely those NILE-esque licks. The same can be said of "Deathamation", an even more textured piece with one particularly crushing shift into a slow tempo. On top of all that, the vocals are intelligible and there is at least a modicum of melody to help distinguish the songs further. And for those of you looking for little more than face lacerations and swift kicks to the privates will find numerous opportunities for pleasurable pain on this one.

It is not that "Blastphemous Sindecade" is some kind of DM juggernaut. It is simply a good album that never forsakes smart songwriting for a heavier-than-thou attitude (though it is pretty goddamned heavy). It all adds up to an album that is easily recommended to fans that want more out of their death metal than just a bruised forehead.

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