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Death Metal Holocaust

Carnal (2014)
Rating: 8/10

After emerging from the murky depths of the River Styx, Swedish maniacs Omnizide have dried themselves down and presented to us their debut record, Death Metal Holocaust.

The band has existed in some form since 1995 (initially under the moniker of Belzen), although you’ll recognise vocalist Mikael Nox from his work with black metallers Craft. Now a full line-up has been assembled we can truly appreciate the ghoulish allure of Omnizide, a ferocious beast of a band featuring Jesper and Anders (aka AE) on guitars, Gaddur on drums, and B-Force on bass (although bass duties on the album are handled by Anders). If their stony glare is not enough to make you fill your pants with your innards, their ten-track debut of primitive metal should.

As first albums go, Death Metal Holocaust is both cold and clammy, and rakes itself across the ears and face as if it were strands of mist on a boggy moor. This lethal platter combines raw black metal with squalid death metal, making for a rather oily experience by the time its last nail has been driven into the skull.

The album opens with the thrashing ‘Rotting Flesh Parade’, which features rather recognisable Swedish structures, particularly in those catchy riffs. This isn’t just a record paying homage to classic Swedish death metal, however. In fact, it’s nowhere near paying homage, as the quartet belch out numerous crude compositions blessed with clattering drums and raw guitars which accompany Nox’s vocal sneers. There is of course that crusty punk feel at times too, especially with some of Gaddur’s frightful drumming.

It’s all rather catchy throughout nonetheless, despite its despicable twists and turns. ‘No Remorse’ is about as subtle as a spike up the backside and ‘Monolith’ follows suit as a simple yet barbaric knife to the guts, bolstered by an annihilating riff and cold vocal rasp.

Omnizide’s aim is clearly to render the listener frozen, ash-covered and suffocated by fumes belched from its own orifice. ‘The Eternally Damned’ creeps up on you with the tiptoe effect of a rusty bulldozer, and the glorious rattle of ‘Dead Planet’ spits out the rest of the bones in a haze of grey devastation.

However, the album isn’t just about nasty speed. The immense ‘Nuclear Strike’ is one of 2014’s greatest and most sinister horror stories; the track begins as an ode to Slayer circa the black vengeance of Reign In Blood (1986) and South Of Heaven (1988) before it resorts to type, and vomits out a pile of nails and gore through Nox’s wretched groans and gasps.

‘Pleasure From Death’ and ‘Desecration Art’ (both taken from Omnizide’s 2011 ‘Pleasure From Death’ single) finish off the grisly job; executed with grim perfection and malice, ending a record that will have you coughing up shards of rust for months afterwards.

Neil Arnold

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