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Repulsive – Demo I: Thanatophobia

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Goddamn, there are literally TONS of amazing, top notch modern bands out there these days banging out osdm inspired music, and they’re absolutely killing it while doing so. I definitely don’t remember there being so many talented bands in the death metal scene 20-25 years ago, most bands were generic Cannibal Corpse knock offs, or just plain boring, unable to write a good hook or catchy riff. UK HM2 bonesaw devotees Repulsive continue the awesome trend in top quality modern osdm worship, and grind out some impressive mechanized skull crushery, in the oldschool Stockholm vein. The trio from Derbyshire consists of Tom Collings on bass guitar and throat torture, with Vash and Shaun Lindsley commanding the 6 string detuned chainsaws pretending to be guitars, as well as handling the drum programming, which is better than par, I might add. There’s some impressive and catchy early 90’s guitar riffing going on here, with a good mix between darker, more evil sounding riffs and some razor sharp tremelo picked melodic lines as heard in “The Flesh Domain”. This tune just slays, is relentless and catchy as hell, and reminds me of Fleshcrawl’s better material circa As Blood Rains From The Sky. It will definitely inspire living room mosh pits, so mind the china case and thrash with care. “Thanatophobia”, a driving, mid-tempo assault embodies the former, with a darker approach, and a heavy dose of tritone intervals and half-step, chromatic 16th note machine gun riffs – a headbanger’s wet dream. An absolutely chilling interlude and an excellent guitar solo highlight this gem, and it brings to mind the finer moments of Entombed’s much worshipped Clandestine album.The cover of Morbid Angel’s “Immortal Rites” is spot-on, and an awesome representation of how the legendary HM2 grind can take an already excellent death metal classic and breathe new, sinister life into it to great effect. That relentless, flesh shredding tone is a perfect fit for the song, and it’s rare I enjoy a cover more than the original version. Mr. Azagthoth ought to check out the HM2 for himself. “The Entity” is a damned fun, uptempo D-beat rollercoaster ride, and this tune showcases why so many bands are adopting the buzzsaw sound, because it unleashes a primal urge, a certain reptilian brain-arousing excitement I personally have never experienced with other conventional guitar tones. The ultra heavy palm-muted accents are pure sonic bliss. The production is impressive for a demo effort, and the sound is clear, powerful and distinct. Drums sound as natural as they can being digital, guitars grind and rage with that beautiful mid-range buzz but also gut-punch low end as well, and the vocals are more than competently growled with unmitigated venom. The band are currently at the demo stage, and their Facebook page claims their first show will happen in August. Repulsive are definitely a band to keep an eye out for. This is the best demo I’ve heard in ages, with great production and killer songwriting. Any fan of golden age Stockholm chainsaw metal will be in heaven listening to Repulsive. I’ll personally be watching these guys very closely. (D.L. Beaven)