Alluvial – Sarcoma (Review)

Alluvial - SarcomaThis is the second album from Alluvial, a modern death metal band from the US.

Sarcoma contains 38 minutes of progressive death metal. Alluvial fuse their modern approach to the style with technical, progressive, and atmospheric flourishes, yet do so in a restrained song-based way. This results in songs that are atypical expressions of extreme metal.

Featuring members, ex-members, and live members of bands such as, (deep breath), Abiotic, Aegaeon, Amiensus, Black Crown Initiate, The Black Dahlia Murder, Decrepit Birth, Devin Townsend, The Faceless, Glass Casket, Pyrexia, Suffocation, Thy Art Is Murder, and The Zenith Passage, you know that not only has a wealth of experience, knowledge, and skill gone into Sarcoma, but that it’s also likely to have more personality and individuality than most.

As you can probably gather, a lot of different components come together across this album. Calling it modern progressive death metal is actually a bit misleading, although probably the closest appropriate appellation for the group. Regardless, Alluvial’s focus on songwriting impact has worked very well for them, especially as they have managed to do so in such a way that there’s still plenty of technical, atmospheric, and progressive depth on display. On the surface of it Sarcoma is a top quality collection of songs, one that’s improved further by the depths that lie beneath the obvious big riffs and catchy choruses.

You can hear the influence of modern deathcore here, yet Sarcoma doesn’t get bogged down in the style’s inherent generic qualities. The songs are technical, but not mind-numbingly so. They’re atmospheric, but without losing sight of instant-appeal heaviness. They embrace an inventive, progressive side, yet remain concise explosions of wrath, demonstrating the power of brevity. They also contain moments of emotive depth that enhance the brutality at the music’s core, and are all the more potent due to the infrequently-deployed nature of these aspects of the band’s sound.

All of this is then wrapped up in a user-friendly delivery that means, if you’re a fan of modern aggression, Sarcoma is easy to get into and easy to enjoy.

Very highly recommended.

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