De Profundis

Frequencies (EP)

Written by: EW on 10/08/2014 12:49:47

With their first EP "Frequencies" London residents and scene stalwarts De Profundis have taken a decisive move away from the lead sound of progressive doom from their "A Bleak Reflection" and "The Emptiness Within" LPs to more (progressive) deathly territories. This new direction rests heavily on the shoulders of Death, with whom the first three tracks here share a distinct influence before DP give the game away completely with a cover of Chuck Schuldiner & co’s classic "Crystal Mountain", although at this point it must be said the transition has been handled smoothly as the many elements in "The Emptiness Within" that hinted at faster climes have merely been coalesced into a tighter whole on "Frequencies". The smooth production which has the guitars flattened into a tight middle space, aside from their primary moments of expression at the end of each bar, is also reminiscent of the hallowed Floridians who took the genre to new levels in the early-90s with their less angular take on the genre from "Human" through to "Symbolic", a huge contrast at the time and I believe still to this day from the other distinct styles of death metal out there.

Choosing to express this shift in the form of an EP is a good idea from DP and the 16 minutes of original material makes for an enticing prospect of further expansion of these ideas. "A Strange Awakening" comes to life with the opening growl of Craig Land atop a fast, descending, spiralling riff before the band throw in their strongest card with occasional forays into non-standard time signatures in the verses. By acknowledging that I have never held much interest in the vagaries of time signature manipulation - ala Meshuggah - yet can easily tolerate these small doses I feel is a testament to the subtlety in which the rhythm section of Nick Tingle (drums) and Arran McSporran (bass) have worked in these aspects. "Illumination" opens with a finger-tapped harmony before the bloody doors are blown off with an explosion of pace rather like another prominent Death disciple, Decrepit Birth, and an emergence into a rhythmically heavy section which relies more on the energy in the song than the creation of any riffs to better what Death themselves did. As the song slows and takes in a few solos Land’s singular throaty growls stand in contrast to the progressive nature of the music and would benefit from a bit of the variation which makes the guitars the interesting proposition they are, before "Singularity" offers in my opinion the most distinct construction of the three original tracks from DP’s primary influence. Underneath a swarm of kick drum blasts the lead guitar lines play a very involving role and keep the track moving succinctly between sections for it’s 5 minute duration before the "Crystal Mountain" cover is very true to form, choosing to admirably perform the complicated drum fills and leading lines as written by Schuldiner without revising the templates too greatly. It closes an enjoyable stopgap EP which hints at interesting things to come from this technically accomplished band who have a strong idea of how to balance technicality versus songsmith, although moving further away from the Death template will be needed to really push their name widely from here.

8

Download: Singularity
For The Fans Of: Death, Decrepit Birth
Listen: Facebook

Release date 19.06.2014
Terrorizer Magazine

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