Resurgency / Desolator
This untitled release consists of two demos from two promising young death metal acts. The first is the Greek Resurgency, who are promoting their first demo “Dark Revival” and the other is the Swedish Desolator with their second demo “Mass Human Pyre”. I don’t know in terms of popularity but in terms of sound production and musicianship, this split definitely puts these two bands on the map of respectable and must-listen-to death metal. Who knows, maybe in some 10-20 years this release will be looked at in the same way as people look at Vader’s “Morbid Reich” or Iron Maiden’s “The Soundhouse Tapes”.
There is no point comparing the two bands to each other and saying which is better. The bands complement each other as both present to us high-quality, but still very “underground”, death metal. This split is an ideal and original, in almost every aspect, homage to one of the most brutal genres. So get it, listen to it and support the metal underground!
As the band has stated, their influences come from various death metal scenes all over the world. To my ear, however, the clearest influences are Morbid Angel and Vader. Especially the track “Psychosis” and the opener “Where Despair Dominates” have distinct elements of both bands. However, this is not everything Resurgency has to offer. As I wrote before, the aspect of originality is present throughout the four-track demo. The clear production and audibility of instruments and vocals encourage the listener to bang his/her head in sheer admiration. One flaw on “Dark Revival”, however, could be the vagueness of the bass with the rest of the instruments and the vocals blotting out the essential instrument at most parts (not throughout the demo!). Nevertheless, the strict beat of the drummer, Vaggelis, with the brutal, yet melodic, guitar riffing of the two Georges pays off – not to mention the clear and attractive vocals of John. With “Atmosphere in Chaos”, a dark and gloomy instrumental ending, the listener is well-prepared for the next death metal act Desolator but still left yearning for more Resurgency.
“Arise, arise, arise!” – that’s the last phrase on the intro “Conjuration of the Watcher”. Indeed, from the very first drum beats and guitar riff on the track “Mass Human Pyre” one gets the feeling of something arising. Contrary to the Desolator artwork in the album booklet, which portrays zombies, the music of the first two tracks has a more medieval feeling. Especially when the track “Impaled” starts off with an intro which includes a man saying “Save your prayers boy, your god doesn’t live here” and the sound of a priest being impaled.
Musically and sound quality wise, “Mass Human Pyre” is a massive improvement from their first demo “Gravefeast”. The vocals of Stefan Nordström and Joakim Rudemyr are far more enjoyable now while the bass lines of Jonas Bergkvist are audible throughout this four-track release. The only flaw could be the drum sound which is rusty at times, especially during blast beats. Nevertheless, this and the famous guitar distortion of the axe duo adds to the “dirty” Swedish death metal sound which Desolator present to us. To be found on most tracks is a combination of fast-paced and slower parts; “Mass Human Pyre” and “Feeding Frenzy” being the best examples. The material also sounds suitable for live shows; with “Mass Human Pyre” being a perfect start which will cause most of the audience to bang their heads like they never did before, and with “Impaled” a song the crowd could join in on during the chorus. The finale of the split “Age of Annihilation” leaves you dumbfounded – that’s me pressing the replay button; time to listen to the whole split again.
(originally written for www.metalrecusants.com )