The Australian death metal scene presented many renowned acts in the 90’s era, from bands like Abramelin, Sadistick Exekution, Misery and etc….
All these bands had similar features of brutality. One of the highlights of this scene is the sense of technicality that was maintained by the extremity of the old school death metal bands. This main feature clearly defined and established a brutal aspect of the Australian underground scene. However, this very scenic suffered from long stagnation till it was revived by newer acts such as Psycroptic, Depravity, Cemetary Urn and many more. Emerging from the hollow depths of the Australian underground death metal scene, Snorlax is a one-man project fronted by the multi-instrumentalist Brendan Auld. Snorlax is a rare hybridization of cavernous death/black metal, after releasing the demo output and a split album in 2018 and 2019, he’s back with debut full-length ‘II‘.
Brendan Auld gives us a deeper sense of introspection, the debut ‘II’ adopts the cavernous style of death metal providing a variety of growling styles. Snorlax in Japan is a gigantic slumbering Pokémon species, which somehow comes across in how the music and vocals sound. Therefore the album has a gruesome nature that extends over 23 minutes in length, determined by the horrific growls. Through my introspective listening session of the debut, I was fascinated by the demonic style of the vocals. Yet it is somehow confusing to describe the style of the band, it is true that Snorlax adopts different musical sounds at first I thought this is some kind of Incantation worship style of death metal but the interchange of the music made me think otherwise.
‘II‘ is pervaded by filthy shrieks and guttural growls the band also burrows the contemporary sound of raw old school death metal. This combined chemistry adds diversity to all six tracks, the debut is achieved through the horror atmosphere and the riff composition of various elements as mentioned. The opening track ‘Infernal Devourment‘ immediately picks up with the intensity of the blast beats and brutal death metal riffing. The guitar tone is sharp and blistering driven by heavy drum kicks and straightforward blast beats. II is accomplished by the efforts of Brendan Auld who also made the mixing of the album by himself.
There is a constant change in every track, for example, the screeching black metal vocals on ‘Resin Tomb‘ were provided by the guest session vocalist Matthew Budge. The track is only one minute and twenty seconds and can be described as a blistering blackened deathgrind fury. Attained by high accuracy and the dynamism the performance on the debut is very much focused on black metal nuances. On the third track, ‘The Chaos of Iron Oppression‘ the tremolo pickings are mastered by Brendan Auld. Whilst the vocals are handled by another guest vocalist Anthony Oliver. By the third track, the performance becomes more intense, and that’s due to the full focus. While the intensity of the tremolo pickings gives it a black metal feel, you can hear the influences from the Scandinavian black metal being stylized by the rapid tremolos.
‘II‘ is loaded with many fresh ideas the nuances of cavernous death metal, and black metal are terrifically implemented. ‘Mind Ov Maggots‘ begins slowly then picks up at tremendous speed when the drums blasts at full speed. The track provides enough aggression and somehow leans to a blackened death and doom metal. With focused tremolo, the blast beats outbursts like a volcanic eruption, even the melodies have more of black metal patterns to them. This indicates that Brendan Auld has a wide affection for black metal. The use of the death metal growls provides a brutal tone to the album in general.
‘Encapsulated Apocalypse‘ has a similar beginning to the previous track, only this time the guttural growls pervades the track with some black metal shrieks that give an adequate depth. ‘II‘ is a cavernous and demonic album and it gradually keeps changing, although I somehow feel that the fifth track contrast with the final track ‘Impending Abysmal Wretchedness‘. The black metal dynamics giving it enough effectiveness. Especially when the tremolo pickings are utilized and the blast beats are brought to full focus. The only drawbacks are that the second track feels too short and it’s concluded hastily, ‘II’ is an organic album recorded and written by Brendan Auld.
Release Date: January 3rd, 2020
Label: Brilliant Emperor Records
- Infernal Devourment
- The Resin Tomb
- The Chaos ov Iron Oppression
- Mind ov Maggots
- Encapsulated Apocalypse
- Impending Abysmal Wretchedness