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Kurnagia – Tribulations of the Abyss [EP]

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Kurnugia spawned from the depths of Cleveland Ohio, brought into being by members Chris Dora on drums, Duane Morris on guitars and growls, Larry Kozumplik on guitars and Brian Bergeron on the 4 string. These guys know how to please, and their two song 7″ EP Tribulations Of The Abyss, released in 2014 on Blood Harvest, truly shines as a massive chunk of incredibly obese, catchy death metal. Production is huge sounding, with gigantic rhythm guitars palm muting their way into your brain puddle with all the subtlety of a mountain being politely dropped on your groin. There is no melody here and no HM2 grind. The guitars are Mesa Boogie precise, scooped and with a cleaner tone than is found with the chainsaw Swedish sound – but still spectacularly heavy and satisfying. There’s a vibe going on here vaguely reminiscent of Oppressor’s excellent Agony album, and the riffs are mean, non-melodic and catchy to ears trained in all things distorted and metallic. Drums are tighter than a nun’s pussy, with well conceived lines expertly executed. (Hmm, “Expertly Executed”, I’ll have to remember that…) Excellent job on the rhythm section overall, and there’s some top notch musicianship happening here, without being unnecessarily shreddy. Tech death this ain’t, just very well thought out and performed DM. No guitar solos here either. Fine by me, if I hear one more fucking arpeggio, I’m going to go on a killing spree, stopping every so often to vomit half-eaten tacos mixed with my own blood. Not much in the way of bass guitar can be heard, which isn’t a surprise in death metal, but it’s always something I feel let down by. Especially when there are albums out there where you *can* hear it, and the listening experience is enhanced considerably because of it. Vocals are growled with rage and precision, reminding me of Bryan Cegon’s excellent performance on Disincarnate’s Dreams Of The Carrion Kind. And that’s a damned fine thing. Excellent EP and a must-have for fans of chunky, catchy, American death metal. (D.L. Beaven)