Drowning - "Age Old Nemesis"
(Bones Brigade Rec.)


MARK: 85/100



The French Extreme Metal scene is not new to the alertest fans, but, for a series of reasons it has never been able to achieve big popularity levels that it should have, and at this moment very good bands like Agressor, Blockheads, Misanthrope are the first ones to pop into my mind. The relatively new entity that could reverse this tendency goes under the monicker of DROWNING, a furious 5-piece that, as it clearly distinguishes itself in the opener "Frozen Inferno" adores to mix elements dear to Deicide, Malevolent Creation, Morbid Angel and the crème of Floridian Death Metal, along with massive HC injections, fitted out with pessimistic and depressive, though realistic lyrics about man's self-destruction and its bent to exploit and then eliminate the weak like the primitives used to do or simply animals have always done, as one can easily deduce from the CD and song titles.
The 5 Apocalypse knights are here to remind us about the impending doom and they got 10 songs to play our funeral, varying from death, doom, HC, brutal thrash and cool personal elements making the whole product continuously catchy and never boring, without forgetting different kinds of fierce chin-punching vokillz. Maybe the top is reached in "The Enemy Within", "My Name Is Retribution" and "Winter Descends", the latter beginning Necrophagia-like, and containing one of the few guitar solos (together with "Downfall"), yet every song is already well remembered during the 2nd listening, thanks to the labour done while writing and arranging the tracks. Last but not least, the recording and mixing by Alexis Phelipot, quite precise especially as to vocal and guitar FX + sounds proves the cherry on the cake.
Conclusions: Drowning deserve the maximum respect from every serious Death Metal fan both for the quality of their compositions and the professionality put into every detail, not only musical or lyrical, but graphical, of the English pronunciation, and so on, too; in 2 words: mature and complete. No cheesy muzak-men!!!