Brodequin – Harbinger of Woe

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The bludgeoning art of Knoxville Tennessee-based death metal act Brodequin has easily distinguished itself among the many brutal acts in the genre. Whether you’re a fan of early Suffocation, Deeds of Flesh, Disgorge, or Defeated Sanity, this form of approach is described as classic and legit it mostly shows how Brodequin has established its sound and become a staple for the modern brutal death metal. The fourth album “Harbinger of Woe” released since March 22nd via Season of Mist presents almost every facet of the 90s era.

The low guttural growls are perhaps the hallmark of the unpolished brutality here to focus on executing endless blast beats, thick bass guitar, and extreme chugging riffs. The lineup of the band consists of Brennan Shackelford (drums), Jamie Bailey (vocals and bass guitar), and Mike Bailey (guitars) delivering full-bodied ass-kicking brutal death metal drill.

Though the barbarity comes in its purest form, Brodequin’s formulaic composition emphasizes unique tremolo patterns that keep you engaged in the brutal sonic variation on themes of human torture. Relatively, I found the album reminiscent of the old-school Spanish grind gore bands of the 90s, the trio plays it simply as they pummel your soul with rapid blasting sections. The album’s production suits the style of the band, which has acquired an extreme taste for brutal death metal.

The opening track “Diabolical Edict” spews guttural sickness, the scale of brutality on the newest album is unmatched, and I do mean it when I say that “Harbinger of Woe” will slam you to the ground with its crushing drums and abrasive riffs. It is inconceivable to witness such a brutal return from a band that has been around for almost twenty years. And yet Brodequin churns out some of the most extreme technicality, the refinement here isn’t the type of modern and polished crap, instead, the trio showcase their utmost talent on “Fall of the Leaf” which shows spectacular discipline and coherence.

In all its diversity it’s impossible not to rate this album as a golden standard, every riff is devastating the double bass quakes like seismic force, and the dynamics never cease to rest. “Theresiana” is technically intense and shifts immediately to fast-paced tempos, from my prospect the drums and guttural growls bludgeon mercilessly under the thick mantle of guitar chugging.

The composition and performance on this album are relentless even the bass guitar is impossible not to be noticed and apart from being present we get treated with the nasty and inhuman drumming. While songs like “Of Pillars and Trees” slam with maximum brutality the drumming plays a pivotal role on this album and delivers an uncompromising rush of adrenaline. With its unstoppable blast beats, grinding double bass, and portrayal of inhuman violence and devastation combined to crushing effect.

The organic display is flawless, the riffing impact comes from the brutal grooves, and unparalleled hail of monstrous chunks of riffs, and they are brilliantly displayed for thirty-two minutes. “Tenaillement” and “Maleficium” are powerful definitions when it comes to the extreme levels of execution. The drum fills are brutal it is also noteworthy to mention that the riffs are constantly changing the approach is enhanced by the potency, and the caustic drenched riffing.

Harbinger of Woe” achieves a splendid quality the guttural growls are very grind gore-oriented. And they bring a certain old-school quality and standard to the music overall, there are some elements of slamming brutal death metal but Brodequin delivers a barbaric and catchy insanity beyond measures. As for the remaining songs like “VII Nails”, it is easy to notice the shift of the drumming pace from the double bass, and raging tempos continue to pummel you.

The riffing formula on the album is an organic combination of distorted heavy power chords and technical riffing patterns that are inclined to unleash constant barrages. Moving from one hyper-speed track to another, “Vredens Dag” has the typical chuggy riffs but halfway through the song the riffs take a major portion in the slower tempos than they speed up at an impulsive speed rate.

Suffocation in Ash” is one of the catchiest songs. The guitars and the low guttural growls and the blast beats are upfront, the unpredictable composition is devastating. It has a touch of creativity in the slower tempos there are some uncanny elements in the background that surface halfway through the song where slow brutal breakdowns dominate over the grinding double bass.

The album’s title track “Harbinger of Woe” is a brutal mélange of sheer technicality, the drum fills are devastating and overwhelmingly flow with the low guttural growls there are also plenty of rotten old school and barbarity before shifting into gurgles and breakdowns.


  • Music / Songwriting 9/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 9/10
  • Mix / Production 9/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 9/10
  • Originality 9/10

Brodequin proudly dedicates its fourth studio album to fans of Suffocation, Disgorge, and Defeated Sanity, this is some of the finest brutal death metal records I’ve heard in such a long time.

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