Recently formed Death Metal band ENSANGUINATE have managed to draw the attention of the scowling but sharp eyes of the extreme metal scene since the first songs they released. Formed in 2020, ENSANGUINATE is Slovenia’s putrid entry into the death metal grimoire of old. Leaning laboriously on the genre’s occult origins, the band stands out by distilling Possessed, Morbid Angel, and Grotesque into a searing death/thrash assault that deviates from today’s run-of-the-mill death metal.

I can’t declare myself the most passionate fan of death metal sounds, but I’m familiar with those specific heavy riffs and the chaotic thump through which the drummer seems to be feeding a wave of old anger. We all know the classics, but it’s harder to get into the new stratum of this genre, especially when the band you’re listening to at that moment doesn’t offer you high-quality material. And here, I’m referring strictly to the attention they pay to the details, how the sound is worked, but especially how they manage to deliver their message. In all this supposed sonic chaos, everything must sound immaculate so that the message reaches the listener unaltered.

“Eldritch Anatomy,” the debut album of Slovenian Death Metal upstarts ENSANGUINATE, is that material that fits perfectly into the comfort zone I was talking about early and which comes to deliver a furious maelstrom of classic 80s extreme metal. It’s all about that sound design that manages to catch you precisely through the correctness of the execution, somehow worshiped in the name of the gods of the genre. Overall, “Eldritch Anatomy” has enough extreme underground metal pedigree to satisfy all fans of Death Metal and those accustomed to the sinister melodic edge of old-school Black Metal.

Consisting of nine tracks that run the gamut from slow and brooding to fast-paced blasts of energy, “Eldritch Anatomy” shows that ENSANGUINATE is out for blood and is poised to stand out by crafting catchy, powerful funeral hymns in the true death metal spirit of old. I will dwell on a few songs that seriously bothered my replay button and wrecked my headphones simultaneously.

The first is called ‘Hunted,’ and it’s the album’s opening track. Man, those noisy rusty riffs tickle my senses and send me back to an era when Bathory, for example, set the trends in Extreme Metal. In manifestly irritated notes, the guitar practically hums that glorious exposure of the miserable existence in which the human being lurches. A trve ode, rude as fvck, brought to those who shouted their wrath through music in pure genuineness.

Once with ‘Cadaver Synod,‘ the album only intensifies and showcases more and more aggression and power to strengthen the material’s message. The song is full-bodied with powerful and devastating vocals that almost feel ominous. This interweaving of aggressiveness and melodic passages makes me think of a series of influences coming from Dan Swanö’s Edge of Sanity. And this will only train you to listen to the whole album even more.

Well, even “Eldritch Anatomy” isn’t what we call Swedish-style death metal that fast and pretty melodic passages are brutal enough to make their way among the genre’s iconic materials. An excellent example in this direction is ‘Perdition’s Crown,’ which quickly infiltrates any serious playlist with extreme metal music with a reasonably classic sound.

And really, there are some stand-out tracks on here. ‘Lowermost Baptisms’ shows a band keenly aware of composition and building and heavy riffing. At the same time, ‘Death Vernacular’ it’s an old-school composition, a killer song with a powerful theme.

“Eldritch Anatomy” has a lot of strengths. The riffing is fast and ferocious, and the drums sound natural and well-produced. The album is littered with a tense atmosphere and an outstanding vocal performance.

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Band photo: (c) Simon Pelko

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