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Outbreak Of Infection EP

Self-released (2014)
Rating: 6.5/10

Display Of Decay are an Edmonton, Alberta, Canada-based death metal act which formed in 2007. Outbreak Of Infection comes complete with rather amateurish splatter artwork and a sound that is at once gross, engrossing but still inconsistent.

This latest EP comes two years after 2012’s debut full-length self-titled platter of splatter, and to be fair it’s a solid, catchy extreme metal experience boasting some wonderfully accessible chunks of fleshy guitar and rancid vocal burps. Although the bass on the opus seems a tad strained – possibly due to the production – all the instruments present kind of melt into one another to form a groove-based yet doom-laden din which should’ve been far heavier than what is apparent.

Having said that, there is something engaging about the clanking murmurs of the slamming ‘Born Of Rot’ where the vocal grunts basically work in gruff tandem with the nodding bass plucks and percussive jabs, yet the whole thing sounds rather inoffensive to me when I expected something far nastier. Of the five tracks on offer, I find myself drawn more towards ‘Praise The Gore’ with its dense introductory slog which emanate some stuffy old school solos and a dank drum presence before the eventual vocal bellows of “Murdered, Raped, Dismembered, Eaten”.

It’s all pretty much mid-paced gore metal offering flecks of speed and sporadic jarring drum assaults, but it’s still far from being a labyrinth of technicality, although it does come some way between Cannibal Corpse and Broken Hope for intensity. I don’t really know why this EP lacks a murderous sharpness, because it’s clear – even lyrically – that these guys are serious in their stance rather than being prone to layers of cheese – but the tracks seem to drift by without any sort of real edginess to the point where it all sounds rather nice, if that is at all possible with this sort of music.

When at its fastest, Outbreak Of Infection remains an accessible and slightly tame expression of brutality where flailing leads are probably a little too infrequent amidst the swampy sound. Nevertheless, Outbreak Of Infection is a likeable affair due to some of its experimentation, which again could have been delivered with more abundance.

Neil Arnold

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