|Pretty unknown to most of the Extreme metal audience, The Down Spiral To Hell is a duo gifted with large doses of imagination and inner fury bursting brakelessly. 4 years after the self-produced CDr "Thorn", a complex journey in darkness playing a strange mix of Death, Black and experimentation, the two-piece has steered towards a sort of Cyber Brutal death metal where the past coordinates come to light every so often.
Embellished by a great artwork by Pascal Cataye at Da Ghost Productions, the Spaniards' assault begins with "Unshaken", showing the strong connections to The Berzerker, but also swine-like growls, very sharp high frequency noises and syncopated frantic rhythm patterns due to the coherent use of a drum machine, which has excellent sounds luckily.
"By Seven Needles" is a short chip where guttural vocals, corrosive guitars and drums most of the time paroxysmally fast create the picture.
The mastering is planned not to leave long pauses between a song and another and this increases the tension of the following brief musical shrapnel and the continuity with that, "A Withered Passage", a track containing several stopped riffs.
In "Stage of Lunacy" the drums are not always tight, trying to match the atmosphere of coldness and desperation exhuding from the walls of a forsaken haunted mental hospital coming out every now and then, whereas in "I Am the Authority" the bass is not only playing low distorted keys but also some middle-bass tunes. The vocals are rotten, yet we deal with the more various, unforeseeable and complex composition; the dynamic riffs, patterns and the noises go beyond what The Down Spiral To Hell has done as of yet. My favourite track and the smoother of the 11, thanks to Gore-Grind vocals dumped on the Death metal ice-cold mortuary slab together with the drum machine and a synth that make way like a bulldozer interrupted only by a spectral central passage. Exceptional example of the talent and the creativity the two Spanish musicians own galore!
"The Left Hemisphere" is like making THe Berzerker playing robotic Power metal enriched by dissonances and structures with undistorted bass occasionally. This song is visionary, then close to Metalcore, and afterwards again recurring to stopped riffs; but in the end the master strike with sinuous and Progressive keyboards before the final eardrums siege.
"Inside Weakness" mixes Napalm Death and Fear Factory reinforced by injections of Brutal death metal; the best vocals of the record are here and the majestic and bizarre keypads, too! Amazing stuff, dudes!
Pompously funereal, "The Right Hemisphere" could be described like Mortician, Skepticism and Emerson, Lake & Palmer on acid joining their forces for a sick song, no shit!
"Boundaries of A Mind Landscape" sonically represents the monicker of the band with different parts of Black metal, Death metal, vocals that seemed to come from another planet or from a pig that's being gushed mercilessly. Another highlight rich of disturbing key sounds drilling our brains...
"Out of Focus" changes the recipe a little with The Berzerker, Dillinger Escape Plan, Origin, guitars that send back to Naked City's "Torture Garden" and pulsing meaty carnivorous Techno beats that I can assure you are not out of context at all.
Finally, "The Sordid and Insane Thoughts" includes typical Mortician riffs and drum machine passages, some Industrial black metal and atmospheric parts between Opeth and Necrophagia, but the vocals might make Exhumed and Hemdale red with envy! Excellent work, ya can bet!
It's not hard to define who might like this record: fans of John Carpenter, H.P. Lovecraft, Death, Black, Industrial, Avantgarde and Extreme metal could all find something interesting close to their musical background and tolerate the other parts that are not common and don't belong to them without any effort.
I found the vocals good and sometimes awesome but twice they were repeating what they did on a previous composition, so the further improvement ought to look in this direction. It wasn't difficult to digest this repetition whatsoever and indeed I'm using a magnifying glass; in spite of this my view dictates that when you are at such high levels you need to work very hard to get a small, yet significant step forwards; in other words this album is really strong and personal enough, surely destined to become a classic, but those who're perfectionists like me will agree that an ideal record won't contain a song with parts present in another, even if short and unfrequent. That said, if you have strong stomach and don't pay attention to details, go for it without hesitating!
MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - May 20th, 2009