Outer Heaven – Realms of Eternal Decay (Review)

Outer Heaven - Realms of Eternal DecayThis is the debut album from US death metallers Outer Heaven.

Here we have 33 minutes of old-school death metal, replete with beefy riffs, crushing groove, monstrous growls, and intense aggression.

Outer Heaven have a filthy sound, one that’s both huge and intimate. The band sound monolithic on Realms of Eternal Decay, while also drawing the listener in close with a suffocating embrace, truly allowing their noxious fumes and toxic waste to spill into you unfettered.

The songs are brutal and harsh, while still having a certain old-school finesse that sees them focusing on the needs of the song rather than mere brutality for the sake of it. The music is well-written and despite the obvious belligerence that’s everywhere on this album, the songs also have a certain level of sophistication that seems to lurk just under the surface.

The core style that Outer Heaven unleash on this album is more than enough to keep me happy, but they also add a few other things into the mix here and there. Occasionally we get little snatches of melody, sometimes we get to explore a macabre atmosphere, at other times the band slow down and embrace a spot of dark doom. Whatever they try their hand at, they accomplish it very well.

Each song here is a great example of how to produce enjoyable, high quality death metal. Nothing is done just for the sake of it, and all the various parts fit together to create something special; this is death metal that’s demonstrably influenced by the 80s/90s old-school, yet manages to still sound surprisingly fresh and vibrant, albeit in a rotting, decrepit way.

The vocals are disgustingly deep and guttural. I want to use words like putrid and vile; you get the general idea. They are very satisfyingly delivered, that’s for sure.

Full of good ideas, sharp songwriting, and buckets of character, this is one of the most enjoyable and gratifying old-school death metal albums I’ve heard in a while.

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