Sometime ago I remember a promo from Sectioned appeared floating into my computer, proclaiming to play old school death metal. Having given it a rather cursory listen, I did not remember much about Sectioned when their debut Purulent Reality arrived.
I can’t quite claim to have a handle on the band’s genealogical tree, but Sectioned appears to be an “international” outfit. Both in its origins and in its sound. Even though the place of its birth is listed as UK, the band has players with definitive Hungarian names, not to mention some of the recordings/shows taking place there. At the same time it seems that Sectioned founder Zoltan Valter (guitars) has now relocated to the US and Sectioned shares many members with Dimentianon, a black/death outfit, and hence strong Paragon Records backing.
Just like Sectioned, the band, is a world traveler, its sound borrows from multiple death metal schools trying to find its own stamp on the genre. The claims are that old Swedish and Floridian death metal influenced the band, but I personally hear a lot more Dutch vibes reminiscent of Sinister and Thanatos, with generous helpings of Morbid Angel atmosphere.
Just about throughout the whole Purulent Reality longer-than-usual in death metal compositions, with multiple repeating parts, unfold in the series of tight pulsating chugging riffs. The listener can’t help but fall into a groove, the music is absolutely conducive to do so. The rhythm section climbs aboard a riff and rides it non-stop, never letting go, even for the overlapping soloing, with the latter drilling sound elevating above the rest of the fray (A Lonely Grasp of Winter, My Love of Decay). In Loneliest Man the solo takes on the Sumerian/Egyptian tone, bringing comparisons with Morbid Angel even further to the fore. The helicopter chug, however, never quits.
And so Purulent Reality moves through its length, chomping, chewing the death metal fabric, keeping the atmosphere of focused morbidity. A little fast and a bit more melodic Behind My Eyes, more measured rocking Mirrors or a touch more brutal with periodic double bass Village of the Sun, Purulent Reality is the death metal without any breakdowns, as opposed to breakdowns being the toast of modern day downtuned deathcore. Only the closing outro title track is decidedly different, doomy, slower, exuding dread.
Dimentianon vocalist M has never been a favorite of mine, and he continues in the same 2-plane mode, plowing the guttural brutal depth at one moment only to switch to higher throat scraping cleaner, but hardcorish, vocals the next minute. It is not, however, the vocals which didn’t make a complete believer out of me with Purulent Reality. It is OK to eschew modern trappings when it gets to compositions, but the sound of the album is stuck in the past as well, surprisingly narrow, compressed and, therefore, not impactful. The heaviness of Sectioned riffs simply does not hit you in the face. A little nastiness coming at the end of Village of the Sun is sorely missed. Unlike with the old Swedish sound of Dismember where the melodic buzzsaw made me fall in love with that band purely on sound alone, with Sectioned I would have to rely on melody (not prevalent here), songcraft (the parts merely repeat themselves) or attitude (squashed by the aforementioned lack of sound depth) to keep coming back for repeated listens. So while I truly respect the rhythmic tightness and an ability to evade the cash-in trend, it is ultimately not enough to vault Purulent Reality to the top of my death metal pantheon.
Killing Songs :
Behind My Eyes, Village of the Sun
|Alex quoted 68 / 100|
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