Drouth - Excerpts from a Dread Liturgy
Translation Loss Records
Blackened Death Metal
5 songs (40:25)
Release year: 2020
Official Bandcamp, Translation Loss Records
Reviewed by Goat

The Portland-based Drouth have a sound sure to appeal to fans of the more violent black/death acts out there, all screeched vocals and coruscating riffing. And that, as far as initial listens to Excerpts from a Dread Liturgy goes, is that; songs seem like lengthy (seven to nine minute) bursts of violence without much for the listener to grasp on to, so as an experience Drouth are like being plunged into a pool of chaotic noise. This remains true even after many listens for certain tracks, such as crushing finale A Crown of Asphodels which feels like a more violent and angry take on the Australian Ruins' approach to black metal, complete with the battering drums and touches of groove. Yet there are other pieces with more to say, such as how after An Apiarist's crushing first few minutes it opens into a more melodic and reflective passage, leading to some thrillingly widdling soloing and a more progressive take on blackened metal, just as savage but with more interesting riffs and although probably a little too long still among the album's highlights.

There is complexity here, buried as it may be beneath the band's aggressive sound, with influences ranging from prog to sludge such as in that ominous building intro to O Time Thy Pyramids - An Unfinished Nightmare which then turns to outright blackened grind with real speed and intensity. Again the band use guitar soloing as a melodic offset to the acidic bile, a shot of peppermint to settle the stomach before it loses control, and although effective you can't help but wish that Drouth did a little more with their range of influences than the fairly drab results across Excerpts. A Repulsive Act Shrouded in Flesh shows the most promise, with frequent proggy riff changes (and even an Opethlike mellow section!) that don't affect the overall blackened anguish of the track - hints of a better future album to come, with a little more light allowed into the band's murky world, perhaps? An unfinished nightmare, indeed, but not one without its moments, this is overall less interesting than its artwork would suggest.

Killing Songs :
An Apiarist, A Repulsive Act Shrouded in Flesh
Goat quoted 65 / 100
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