Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Purgatoire – Passé décomposé (2016) / 78%

Excellent artwork!

Terrible Bear Attack

Rimouski’s Purgatoire (purgatory, duh) was created with the goal to play pure, unaltered
savage death metal and they definitely managed to do exactly that. The francophone quartet inspired by proto brutal death wrote a vivid and aggressive record that purists of the genre are gonna enjoy.

The two main inspirations I can hear in Passé décomposé (decomposed past) are the two American death metal giants Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation. Like those guys, the riffs are thick, hellishly groovy and the tracks are fast paced, vicious and are very good at destroying your eardrums. There’s not an ounce of progressive, atmospheric or deathcore elements to be found here, it’s death metal to the core and it’s still a relevant genre after more than twenty years. There’s no need to inject some asinine elements to the recipe when the basis is already tasty.

The vocals of Félix Ouellet are massive growls and this greasy violence fits the demolishing machine created by the experimented guitarists. Those veterans are obviously in love with the style and they do it because of that and not because it’s a trend. Rimouski is located in north eastern québec (5 hours from Montréal) and there’s this enjoyable side of the band that’s related to the harsh natural aspect of their region such as the closer “Baribal enragé” (enraged black bear). The song starts with a man being attacked and eaten alive/dismembered by a bear and that’s pretty freaking metal. The wild is a pretty cool theme and should be used more often by metal bands.

I do dig this highly groovy version of death metal even if I do think it got a bit samey, variety was not needed here, don’t get me wrong but there’s not a lot of you can do with the genre without fully changing its textures. The intent of this 37 minutes record was to bury you alive and the duration is just fine enough to do that. I think the guitars are a bit too mechanical at times but I do enjoy the quasi lack of useless solos, an aspect that many death metal seems to favor a bit too much most of the time, there’s some well placed like in the opener but they never go overboard.

The production recalls the mid 90s old school death metal, the heydays for the genre and while I mostly hear the American influences, there’s a some nice touches of Swedish goodness here (Grave? Unleashed?). It’s not ground breaking but it’s well done Québécois violent death metal executed with care, precision and with the the might of a 500 pounds black bear devouring your limbs like they were pork sausages. Pretty good debut album.
Thanks to PRC Music for the promo copy


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