Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Carcinogen - Unholy Aggression (2010)

Part of the reason I love Carcinogen's Unholy Aggression is because it remembers the olden days of death metal. Although the group's third release sports an immaculate production, it makes a great case for the sound, mostly because the bass's clank is at the heart of the mix--something sadly unheard of by today's producing standards.

Carcinogen's music recollects on primitive times--the late eighties and early nineties--when extreme metal was emerging as a prominent force in the underground and, by doing so, pays homage to what came beforehand. Slayer, Morbid Angel, and Pestilence-type riffs are easily picked from the murky, yet morbid, aesthetic and bear slight resemblance to the Swedish death metal guitar tone popular over 20 years ago. While I ordinarily write music like this off as a sort of tribute, these Long Islander's material is a much welcomed modern interpretation of death metal's long-lasting heritage.

Predictably, the band's EP sounds extremely similar for its 25-minute duration, but one has to keep in mind that death metal has never been about variation. Unholy Aggression's strength lies in ironing out the little imperfections that have popped up in the subgenre over the years, and though it still isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination, the release remains an enjoyable slab of music that builds upon already established "rules." Recommended.

-TMA

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