DESECRAVITY are form Japan and play the kind of Death Metal to which the words […]
By Martin Knap
January 28, 2019
Desecravity - Anathema album cover

DESECRAVITY are form Japan and play the kind of Death Metal to which the words "brutal" and "technical" usually get attributed to. For better or for worse, the band that put Japanese Metal on the map is BABYMETAL, but it's not all Hello Kitty and cute anime girls in the land of the rising sun. Bands like DEFILED, ANATOMIA, or GOTSU TOTSU KOTSU are names that Death Metal enthusiasts around the world may recognize. DESECRAVITY might be the youngest among these established or up-and-coming bands, but not by far. Founded in 2007 in Tokyo, they've soon started touring Asia and secured a contract for their first full-length album with the respected Pennsylvania label Willowtip Records. "Anathema" is the third full-length album released by this Tokyo four-piece, coming out five years after their last release "Orphic Signs".

Like with the classics of this style of Death Metal such as "Non So Vile" by CRYPTOPSY, there is a lot to take in. Frenetic drumming, fast, technical guitar playing (tapped harmonics, arpeggiations, even some neoclassical playing in the intro of "Deprivation of Liberty"), sudden shifts between faster, riffy sections and slower, groovy ones. It is basically a sonic punch in the face which leaves one in lack of words and with the question "what the hell did I just hear" on one's mind. Compared to the pioneering albums DESECRAVITY sound even more technical and the production is more polished - think of the sound of modern Brutal Tech-Death bands like ORIGIN or CYTOTOXIN. The album opens with a short intro featuring dramatic strings and then it goes straight to business.

"Impure Confrontation" opens with a gnarly, complicated riff and a complex rhythm, before shifting to machine-gun blast beats, brutal growled vocals and full-throttle riffage. The song has an ebb and flow, it relaxes after intense sections, then jumps back into frenetic mode. In the second half we have high-pitched with the low growls and the guitar playing is absolutely bad-ass. In "Ominous Harbinger" the guitar plays a kind of simple a bit melodic Tech-Death borrowed from SUFFOCATION or CRYPTOPSY, there is some high intensity blasting and shredding, but there is also a slower, groovier section with chugging riffs. The song builds up to a frantic finale with deranged high-pitch screams. Overall, there are no big surprises on the album, but there are standout moments, like the neoclassical intro to "Deprivation of Liberty" mentioned above, the appropriately weird and short guitar solo in the same song or the instrumental mid-section with intertwining riffs in "Devoured the Psyche".

This is a solid release not in small part due to the amazing musicianship and just the overall craziness of the music. It is not an accessible record, you need to be willing to listen closely to all the details to appreciate it, but your time will be rewarded. I've listened to this for weeks and I'm still coming back, trying to wrap my head around it. Throwing in some chugging riffs or breakdowns might make the music more accessible, but I admire the band for sticking to the more "riffy" formula and not sounding like every other band on the Unique Leader roster. "Anathema" is a quality Tech-Death release that you shouldn't miss.

8 / 10









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"Anathema" Track-listing:

1. Aeon and Ashes
2. Impure Confrontation
3. Ominous Harbinger
4. Deprivation of Liberty
5. Bloodthirsty Brutes
6. Secret Disloyalty
7. Devoured the Psyche
8. Beheaded White Queen

Desecravity Lineup:

Yujiro Suzuki - Vocals, Guitars
Yuichi Kudo - Drums
Daisuke Ichiboshi - Bass
Yuya Takeda - Guitars

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