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(Embryo Records)

First of all: no, this isn't the German band EPICEDIUM! However, this 1996 founded and California-based quartet is to be filed under "Death Metal" as well, "killer Death Metal" if you ask me! Taking influences from acts such as CANNIBAL CORPSE, SUFFOCATION, MORBID ANGEL and adding to that some nice melodies as well as a relentlessly pounding brutality, on their debut full-length EPICEDIUM deliver plain excellent contemporary Death Metal that rips your speakers with technical ferocity and flawless song writing. "Epicedium" is doubtless one of the strongest debuts I heard lately, garnered with a powerful, crisp and clear production fortunately not sounding as sterile and clinical as the gross of releases put out nowadays, plus great riffs, ripping leads and barbarous vocals that impress due to a good dose of individuality and character. Whereas the opener 'Homicidal Repercussion' is a straight forward, blasting and driving track, track 3 'The Wrath' exposes some quite melodic riffing turning it into a more catchy mid-tempo tune retaining EPICEDIUM's trademark of vicious heaviness. 'The Time Of Ruin' is a cool instrumental piece, followed by 'Legacy Of Darkness' which hits you like a freight train: punishing blasts and great hooks turn it into a banger par excellence. The same goes for 'The Corpse Yard', 'Plague Of The Innocence', and 'Horrific Erradication' all of which are extremely powerful, fast outbreaks of merciless Death Metal. EPICEDIUM certainly do not reinvent the genre yet they come along with unbridled force, energetic performance and simply the feel for good songs that offer technically impeccable, tight musicianship and traditional Death Metal violence to equal parts. 40 minutes long EPICEDIUM delight the listener with their very own unadulterated form of US-style Death Metal that profits in particular from strong songs and a freshness rarely to be discovered today. Hopefully this band gets the attention it deserves! Highly recommended!!! Full-length mp3s and the album itself are available at the following sites:;

Stefan Franke

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