Monday, October 27, 2008

Sapremia - Subconscious Rot (Demo) (192)

line-up :

Lou Ferrara - Vocals, Bass
Brian Rulli - Guitar
Brian Valenti - Guitar (Mortal Decay (US))
Ryan Hill - Drums (Malicious Intent)

Review :

Hailing from New Jersey, Sapremia were a popular underground death metal band during the early 1990's. Both of their demos were well received among fanzines and tape traders, but for some reason the band parted ways before being given the opportunity to release anything for a label. "Subconscious Rot" is their debut effort, containing five songs of riff-healthy, pulverizing, New Jersey-style death.

This tape is a perfect example of how death metal can still be brutal without constantly abusing blastbeats and playing at breakneck speeds. Much like Mortal Decay in their demo days, Sapremia displayed an emphasis on quality songwriting rather than blind aggression or trying to be the world's "sickest" band. The focus here is always on the riffs, and while there are periodic outbreaks of sheer, blasting brutality, these are performed in a tasteful manner and never take on a primary role in the music.

The dual-vocal attack continually leads the listener into a place of unearthly horrors. Unlike Carcass or Exhumed, the vocals are not at contrast with each other by being extremes of highs and lows. Rather, both are deep, deathly growls that only differ from one another in pitch. The bass guitar sits proudly in the mix, creating an eerie, droning effect that perpetually hangs over the music like desolate fog over a graveyard. The drummer's beats are modest and at perfect symbiosis with the guitars and bass. His use of double bass is always spot-on, especially during the rancid riff feast that is "In Lifeless Form". Blastbeats are furious yet simple, giving off the feel of an accelerated thrash assault.

The bulk of each song is nicely played at mid-tempo, seamlessly flowing along and transitioning into the next. Something interesting I noticed about "Disintegration of Your Soul" is that the first riff sounds like it came from Epitaph's "Bloodstained Visions" from the split LP with Excruciate. I'm sure it's just a coincidence, but having listened to so much death metal from this period in my lifetime I can't help but notice these things.

If you're a fan of older Mortal Decay, Damonacy and other classic New Jersey bands, or can simply appreciate well-structured, guitar-oriented death metal then you will not regret getting this demo tape.

Recorded December 1991.

1.Plague of Minds05:01
2.Infectional Withdrawl04:19
3.In Lifeless Form04:03
4.Strategical Sickness04:30
5.Disintegration of Your Soul04:23
Total playing time22:16

Download link

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