We could sit here all day and have a mostly civil conversation about the pros and cons between modern takes on death metal that aren’t afraid to do something fresh with a modern coat of shine and those that feel partial to the old school that perpetuate it even well beyond the metaphor of beating a dead horse. Honestly, both sides have their merits and their downfalls, but it’s the former that really does feel like it gets a lot more hate than it really should with it feeling like most people giving it a lot of unnecessary hate. For me, like most things, it all depends on the band, and it’s with acts like Orecus that show why a modern approach is more than acceptable like literally every other sound that has ever existed across the history of music.
It can easily be the most boring albums are the most straightforward in their creation, but it can also be with that very same approach that we can receive an album that is the most interesting given how easy it is to digest. That can effortlessly be turned into an awful product that feels highly manufactured with the desire to make money rather than something born out of passion, but it’s from the likes of bands like Orecus that we get albums like “The Obliterationist” that show us that’s not always the case. What we get here is a very powerful mix of death metal that is not afraid whatsoever to draw from several current influences from styles like djent to give us a sound that is both familiar but fresh given how well Orecus is able to perform it despite being at odds with the typical formula that death metal as a whole tends to find itself using on many occasions. Yet, it’s despite those clear adversities that “The Obliterationist” quickly rises to challenge to not only dwarf it but demolish it outright (I dare not use the word obliterate), and it’s the small infectious seed that is planted deep in our cerebrums at the beginning of the record where the real work of Orecus comes into play. Each of these songs feel quite basic and downright simplistic sometimes, but it’s the band’s ability to work in small intricacies and boastful displays of power where the alluring nature of “The Obliterationist” starts to take sway over the mind. Just those two elements are enough to carry this record further than they have any right to but add on top of that quality born out of sheer tenacity to deliver a performance that’s as vicious as it is well done and that’s just the skeleton of “The Obliterationist” and all that Orecus has achieved here.
There is no argument to be made here that Orecus is doing anything massive for the world of death metal or that they are bringing brand new elements to the table that have the capability to redefine our vision of the style at large, but I cannot whatsoever bring myself to say that “The Obliterationist” is anything other than stupendous right from the beginning. This is a tour de force of power the likes of which death metal is always working towards with this performance, in particular, bringing in modern elements that come together gloriously in order to provide us with a listen that feels fresh, invigorating, and a damn good time all the way around.
“The Obliterationist” releases on March 12th!
LISTEN to advanced tracks from “The Obliterationist” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Orecus on Facebook here.