I get so many albums for review that yis, sometimes shit falls through the cracks. The only reason I even bring that up is due to the fact that I’ve apparently been sitting on the debut full-length album Forest of the Impaled from UK Death Metal band SUBSERVIENCE for a while. It’s out now on Black Bow Records and is definitely one that caught my interest when I finally got to digest it recently. The songs pack a pretty good punch, the riffs cut like a chainsaw, and the vocals are guttural, thick, and leathery. This has all the elements of the old Florida Death Metal from back in the day, but it never strays into rip-off territory.
It should also be noted that the grooves throughout this disc are hellacious. We go from crazy blast beats to grinding riffs sometimes at the drop of a hat. That alone would keep things interesting, but the songs themselves are actually really good. A perfect example of this is “Beneath the Earth.” This one definitely veers in several different directions, but always lands squarely on home plate. Opener “In Depravity They Dwell” raises all hell, and proceeds to pummel the shit out of you. This is without a doubt one of the album’s best tracks and one hell of an opening statement.
“A Taste For Violence” features some thumping drums and bass from the rhythm section, while “Entity of Indifference” immediately reminded me of OBITUARY in places, which is fine because I fucking love them. “The Dying Light” was a favorite right away. You can feel those goddamn drums and bass lines right in your chest from the very beginning! I also very much enjoyed the meat grinder feel of “Desperation” and the monster-crawling-from-the-depths-tone that starts “The Consummation.” This gives way to an all-out bloodbath as the song goes on, with splatter everywhere.
The disc ends with seven-minute-and-change “Descend Into Despair”, a song that evokes an image of a knife-wielding stalker coming to gut you from groin to gullet. Then the whole band kicks into overdrive and as a result you may wind up in the head trauma unit. From the massive beating. Hey listen, I knew nothing about SUBSERVIENCE before now, but Forest of the Impaled has certainly made me a believer. I think these lads can definitely go places, and if you’re a fan of Death Metal that takes the occasional twist and turn, then I think you’ll be a fan of SUBSERVIENCE. I sure as shit am.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “The Dying Light”, “In Depravity They Dwell”, “Beneath the Earth”, “Entity of Indifference”