Released: 2017, Comatose Music
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
When it comes to the brutal death metal that we all know and love, Comatose Music has established itself as the gold standard for labels peddling such goods. Much like Earache was to death/grind in the early 80’s, Comatose has cornered the market on the best of the ultra-guttural in 2017. Okay, some of it hasn’t been great (Pathology, cough, cough, Antropofagus) and some of it has been pretty solid (Logic of Denial, Desecrate the Faith). Devangelic’s sophomore opus PHLEGETON sits firmly in the middle – not quite exceptional, not quite mediocre, but a pretty damn satisfying platter of knuckle dragging knife to the gut death metal.
Inhuman vocal emanations + typewriter blast beats + riffs pulled from the Terrance Hobbs’ chapel of beatdown make for a textbook study of visceral goodness. Tracks like “Plagued by Obscurity”, “Maggots and Disease” and “Decaying Suffering” pummel with unrestrained ferocity, but they’re all stacked with just enough technical dexterity to keep it interesting. By the time you get to “Asphyxiation Upon Phlegethon” the unrelenting chug has well started to wear out its welcome, but the ride up to that point will keep your attention.
Original? Questionable. Kick you in the nards heavy? Hells to the yes. PHLEGETON won't be the most complex death metal album you’ll hear this year, but it's still pretty satisfying at its most primal level.