On the Viking long ship that is extreme metal, all genres play their part. As the misty eyes of black metal gaze into the unrelenting nautical fog and listen for the echoes of their downtrodden ancestors and, while the frenzied enthusiasm of grindcore haphazardly darts around the deck with hissing impatience, it is the strong, rugged arms of death metal that hold battered oars and simply row. And, boy, do they put a shift in.

There is a lot of death metal about and not a lot of room for anything other than belligerence, brutality and throat-stripping barbarism. Capture all three of those in a filthy, swirling pit of atrocities and you risk rowing so hard that you puncture an ugly, gaping hole right in the bottom of the genre. That is exactly what Scottish quartet, Scordatura, have managed here on their third full-length album.

With insanely precise and incomparably rapid drums, diehard guitar work and a guttural, shuddering vocal performance, this record reaches heights that many other death metal offerings do not. The blistering weight of opener ‘Disease of Mind’, the crushing pile-up through ‘The Flesh That Hates’ and the rampant wade through the blood pits in the title track all bear testament to the fact that this is a highly accomplished band who remain at the top of their sound, and their game.

If you are consciously, or even sub-consciously, searching for utter carnage when you press play on a record for the first time, then there is no better place for you than this. Achieving such accuracy against a backdrop of chaos is no easy task – but Scordatura have done it here with fervour and limitless energy. Records like this keep death metal very much alive. And, without death metal, no one is going anywhere fast.


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