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Kamikabe: Aberration Of Man

Steel City’s death metal slayers bring the blast

So much modern death metal teeters on the edge of farce, as technical proficiency and Pro Tools sheen all but drowns out the genre’s atmospheric spirit. Kamikabe have got the balance just right here, however, as their animalistic battery never strays too far into aimless showboating territory and riffs are given room to breathe fire.

The Pittsburgh crew are no slouches in the nimble-fingered dexterity department, but songs like feral opener Leprous Divinity and the riotous shape-shifting of Magure exude enough sinister musicality to offset detours into more wilfully complex realms.

The band cite Spawn Of Possession and Napalm Death as influences and the essence of both can be heard on the mad-eyed cudgelling of Only The Dead Rest, wherein a gloriously foul bass sound, pitiless blasting and regular bursts of sludge and hardcore punk collide to spine-tingling effect. Ungoliant is similarly intense: a grandiose slow-mo splurge of Lovecraftian menace centred around a single desolate riff.

Not everything matches those hair-raising high points, but this is a hugely promising first effort nonetheless.