Combustion Spontanee - Horraura
Self Financed
Death Metal
8 songs (34:09)
Release year: 2006
Reviewed by Kayla

Combustion Spontanee, a four-man death metal outfit, as one might gather from their name, hail from France (and thus their vocalist can be forgiven for choosing the stage name Predicator – while I’m the last person to be criticizing anyone on their fluency in a foreign language, I think he mistook “predicator” for being etymologically related to “predator”, which it is decidedly not). They play a particular blend of mostly death metal interwoven with other touches so tightly that it’s sometimes hard to tell where the death metal ends and the rest begins.

Horraura starts off with a title track that’s surprisingly and refreshingly varied, and sets the mold for the rest of the album. While the base is solidly death metal, with driving, straightforwardly nasty riffs and drumming that’s effective enough, if a bit on the simplistic side, there are some decidedly alien touches. The opening riff sounds like it would be more at home on an Immortal album than one from Entombed, and the vocals are a strange hybrid of typical black screeching and a midrange death growl. About halfway through the track, the formerly single vocal line is joined by another two or three layers in a long scream, melding into a wall of sound effect that makes what is really only a single, repeated riff into something substantially more interesting.

The fourth track is the only real break we get, a rather amusing interlude that sounds like a cannibal preparing a meal, or perhaps a mad butcher getting ready to chop up his next victim. Mind, I’m only extrapolating this from the stereotypical “French café” background music and chainsaw noises, as the actual spoken word portion is in French. Unfortunately, the only French I know is limited to the words for “hello”, “potato” and “fuck your mom”. The sense of humor behind it reminds me of Impaled, especially the interludes on Death After Life.

The final track, Supporter Of Human Annihilation, while as mutable as the rest, certainly ramps up the intensity for the finish. It’s one of the two tracks on the album with an intro, an otherwordly and pointed riff that unfortunately loses the transition into the rest of the song, suddenly breaking into a chugging slice of death metal. Later, a grating, buzzsaw riff melds into a brief snatch of melody, swiftly rising and falling, tumbling the listener ever farther into the abyss.

While the guitar work is consistently solid throughout the album, the drumming is far spottier. Put frankly, it’s so simplistic as to be boring, which is quite surprising considering the interesting effects achieved elsewhere. Perhaps that’s why it also tends to be buried fairly deeply in the production, although considering that they’re reminiscent of Anaal Nathrakh at times, it might be more a function of their influences than anything else. The drumming is enough to back up the heavier, more deliberate portions of the guitar work, and certainly is at its strongest when paired with chugging death metal, but tends to come up short when the music starts to split off into more intricate effects.

Horraura is quite solid as a debut for a relatively young band, and certainly promises better things to come. I wouldn’t be surprised if Combustion Spontanee continue along a more experimental route, eschewing their more workmanlike chugging for an aggressive, brutal sophistication. Or, at the very least, better drumming. Either way, I think these guys will only improve.

Killing Songs :
Killing Songs: Horr-aura, Psychopath Trip
Kayla quoted 62 / 100
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