Artifex is the debut EP from Death Metal band DEADHAND SYSTEM, it’s out now, and definitely worthy of repeat spins on any metalhead’s choice of media. If these six tracks are meant to serve as an introduction to these guys, then I say it’s a pleasure to meet you, folks. This is 100% in your face Extreme Metal, combining brutality with the occasional flair of Swedish Melodeath, and you can hear the group’s influences loud and clear. Even better is that they never once veer into rip-off or clone territory, choosing to keep this fresh, with a sound all their own.
As soon as I heard “Metempsychosis” and “The Pendulum Paradigm” I knew I was gonna love this disc. The guitars of Marco Martell (who also played bass) and John Major go from flesh-ripping to deep chugging, Garry Naples’ drums go from blast beats to a slowed-down groove, and the bass line is thick as a brick. “Ruin Spectacle” has become the favorite because on this one Shaun Albro puts his bestest, most evil growls on display while the band seems to whip around him like a tornado.
Opener “Nethersphere” will crack you over the fucking head and open you up like a can of tomatoes within the first five seconds. This was an instant winner from day one, and I never get tired of it. This segues right into “On Rancid Vellum” which only continues the beatdown, but has the distinction of being the most melodic track on the record. Finally “Calamity Trigger” uses jackhammer riffs, ground-shaking bass and drums, and flamethrower-hot vocals to bring the whole house crashing down, reducing everyone and everything to ash when it’s done.
All told, Artifex is a fucking excellent debut from DEADHAND SYSTEM. I cannot wait to see what they do next, and I can only pray they get on some tours that come within driving distance of Philly in the next year or so. This is metal that needs to be heard from city to city, and I truly believe that anyone who loves the pummeling, brutalizing shit will fall in love with this record as I have. And when you can put together a collection of tunes like these that are as hard-hitting as they are instantly memorable, I say job well done!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM