There’s nothing like a bit of death metal to get you in the mood for kicking 2016 and its celebrity-pilfering antics in the teeth. For such purposes, and given the ethos of our site, even better to plump for a death metal act about to release its debut in the early hours of 2017.
Lucky us – Repulsive Vision from the Cumbrian wastelands got in touch and threw their upcoming neck-snapper at us. Look Past The Gore and See The Art comes out on Friday 13th January, 2017, and is ideal for burning off the last of the 2016-hating adrenaline. Despite being together in one form or another since 2010, this is indeed the band’s first full length release and it’s a strong one.
They’ve gone for the fast-paced, thrash-related end of the scale rather than the doomier style, making for an overall energetic album. The guttural lyrics are almost spat out punk-style in places by frontman Dan McEwan, and what’s unusual about his vocals is the way they’re audibly in front of the music. On first listen this seemed strange. Death metal vocals are often buried within the other sounds, merging into the whole. Repulsive Vision have opted to push Dan’s voice to the front and this means that you can often *gasp* make out the words. Not a bad thing as the lyrics are pretty good.
Dan’s joined by Mark Kirby (bass), Gary Young (drums) and Matt Davidson (guitars). Together they’ve come up with a dozen cracking, downbeat and disgusting numbers plus an intro track which really sets the scene. While not all of the songs are of the Cannibal Corpse ilk, “Half Starved Half Killed”, “Corpse Decay”, “Premature Burial” and “Bathroom Surgery” are very much in this territory.
There are a couple of more political or socially aware numbers as well such as “Harmless Entertainment” and the eponymous opener, “Repulsive Vision”. It’s a nice twist – the latter being a song about the band’s right to make songs like the others they’ve recorded! Add to that the fact that it’s a cracking tune and you’ve got a great start to the album.
With the tracks peaking at around three minutes for the longer numbers, the album’s over far too quickly but does bode well for a live set in that it’s almost certainly going to be fast, frenetic and exhausting. Having said that, two tracks that really caught my attention were two of the longest – “Pit of Putridity” and “Credophilic” which really sounds evil.
Death metal, perhaps contradictorily, is alive and well. Look Past The Gore and See The Art will hopefully prove this as you welcome in 2017 and ditch 2016’s rotting carcass into a solid pine box and bury it.
Look Past The Gore and See The Art is out on January 13th, 2017. You can pre-order it via their online store.