Extremity have been together for a number of years and hail from Oakland, California where bands love to swap members and create music to pay homage to the godfathers of the scene, namely (on this occasion) Entombed, Autopsy and Bolt Thrower. What got me interested in this band is the inclusion of Shelby from the excellent band Vastum, whom I have followed since Carnal Law. Actually this is not too far removed from Vastum and is also a good starting point for those looking for newer comparisons.
Extremely Fucking Dead is a 6-song mini-LP clocking in at 26 minutes and one look at the album cover depicting two severed heads tells you that singing about flowers and love is not on the agenda here.
“Mortuus est Valde”, being the intro, starts things off with haunting screams and 70s horror music and is not for the faint of heart. “Crepuscular Crescend”, is next and starts off with a Swedish death metal/Autopsy feel before Shelby Lermo’s growls reminiscent of early underground death metal melt your face. Special mention to Shelby’s vocal style as the only comparison I have is the Acrotischon song “Relic” on the Peaceville Vol 4 sampler!
There are so many time changes within this song, yet each time change was mixed at the right time, with a mixture of doom and mid-paced death metal drumming courtesy of Aesop Dekker making a huge contribution to the overall ghastly feel. Marissa-Martinez Hoadley on guitar and Erika Osterhout on bass all work together making this opener a crunching and neck snapping tune. All musicians have been part of the scene for a significant number of years and all their experience is clearly on show here.
“Bestial Destiny” starts mid-paced with a riff a-lá Bolt Thrower with Aesop’s drumming reflecting the influence. The sound is murky, dense and from the depths, which is exactly what Extremity want. Again the time changes flow seamlessly within this song and we get the first glimpse of a blast beat which will get the pit started. Before you know it, the pace has slowed right down again and then we get our first real guitar lead interacting with Aesop’s excellent drumming. There is much more of a dual vocal attack, with Shelby and Marissa exchanging vocal leads. Dual vocals are something that I love in death metal as they add variety, technicality and different levels of brutality and this has it in abundance.
The beautifully named “Chalice of Pus” begins with near-blast beats and for the first time I got the feeling that the guitars and the drums didn’t sound right compared to the other tracks on the album. That very minor point is evaporated when the heaviness of the song and chants of “Chalice!” gets your horns up in appreciation. It is also the first time that we really hear the bass of Erika, showing the years of experience gained on the circuit with her numerous bands. There was an Entombed moment, reminiscent of the “Night of the Vampire”, which got me grinning from ear to ear. Extremity knows how to show their praise and allegiance with the godfathers of the scene, and this was another sterling example of that.
“Fatal Immortality” is next, where the speed picks up considerably getting the pit started before slowing down to twisting and turning riffs that lead you to the abyss. I love riffs like this and it’s nothing original but eloquently played. Dual vocals kick in with Shelby’s vocals more in the background, allowing Marissa’s to spew forth and take the forefront vocal attack. Guitar leads kick in before Extremity is at full speed again, getting this head nodding in acknowledgement of the musicianship on show here.
Lastly, we have the title track, “Extremely Fucking Dead”, which starts of at a relentless pace, with Shelby sounding the angriest he has been throughout this whole recording. Again Aesop’s drumming is astounding and I love his double bass work in parts of this song. Along with the intricate leads that are more numerous in this track than any other song, they showcase the talents of both guitarists. There is everything in this song, with it being a bit more chaotic in time changes, guitar leads thrown in here, there and everywhere and dual vocal attacks. This is truly captivating stuff and makes you want another song, but alas, that is the end of the record. You are left with a machine flatlining, telling you that your ears cannot take any more and now you, the listener, are “Extremely Fucking Dead”.
This is disgusting, rotten, putrid, gut wrenching, stomach churning, slimy and filthy death metal at its very best. What Extremity do is point out that there are very good metal bands in the underground, not just death metal but all metal, and what you have to do is to search for them and discover new treasures and I have certainly found this with Extremity. Best of luck guys!
Extremely Fucking Dead is out on April 7th