As observant fans of heavy music may know, underground metal bands often try to evoke the sound of the abyss yawning open. Death, despair, depravity and disgust are all central to the extreme metal way of things, but it’s increasingly difficult to be startled or truly moved, desensitized as we are to all things grim and cacophonous. That memo obviously never reached Costa Rica, however, because BLOODSOAKED NECROVOID are immediately recognizable as one of those unique, epoch-slicing bands with a direct psychic link to the Lovecraftian black. Emerging from the shadows two years ago, with two astonishing demos (later compiled on last year’s “The Apocryphal Paths Of The Ancient 8th Vitriolic Transcendence”), this San Jose duo peddle an extraordinarily twisted and haunting strain of slow-motion death metal, dense with hellish reverb and raw as all unholy fuck. Of course, there is no shortage of like-minded music out there in gruesome corners of the extreme metal scene, but it’s incredibly rare to find a band that make the black magic seem real. Like music spewed from the depths of some surreal, subterranean labyrinth, “Expelled into the Unknown Depths of the Unfathomable” doesn’t so much raise the bar as use it to smash mortality’s head in.
Opener “Dispossessed in An Asphyxiating Endless Darkness” delivers on its title’s promise: this is excruciating, scabby-knuckled doom, underpinned by the monstrous tectonic rumble of wild, reverberant bottom end and the skeletal clatter of a bloodied drum kit. “Perverted Astral Intoxication for a Death Incarnation” brings more legitimate death metal to the table, but the pace is still glacial and grim, as singer / guitarist Frederico Gutierrez belches pure devilry from the heart of an intoxicating fog. In contrast, “Viciously Consumed by the Unfolding Unknown” switches from skin-flaying dirge to bursts of authentic death metal fury, resolutely old-school to the bone, but delivered with mad-eyed, lysergic abandon.
If BLOODSOAKED NECROVOID really intend to be insanely psychedelic remains unconfirmed, but whether through luck or judgement, “Inescapable Transferance of Profane Malignity” is deeply, disturbingly trippy, as guitars writhe and squall, edging towards amorphous noise but always held in check by the caveman heft of Jose Maria Arrea‘s drumming. I would never endorse the use of soft drugs, but getting high to this would definitely seem to be a brilliant idea, assuming your subconscious can take a good pummeling. Seeping viscous dread from every pore, both “Existential Dismemberment by a Transcendental Nothingness” (BLOODSOAKED NECROVOID give great title, don’t they?) and “Traversing the Threshold of a Treacherous Depraved Absolute” add extra layers of terror and tension to this 40-minute voyage’s steady march towards the spiritual brink. When the horror ends, you may find yourself feeling strangely cleaned. Or horribly traumatized. Either way, these burgeoning cult heroes are making some of the heaviest music available today. Whatever they’re smoking in Costa Rica, it’s definitely hitting the spot.