Shambles – Primitive Death Trance (2017) REVIEW

Although they were birthed in gore and blasphemic brutal death in the late 90’s by 2014 Bangkok, Thailand death metallers Shambles had succumbed beyond blasphemy towards occult darkness and worship of primitive death/doom masters. The release of their first full-length ‘Realm of Darkness Shrine’ in 2016 Shambles represented a rarity and a gem from their pocket of the Earth and seemingly one born from within a great cavernous abyss. For their follow-up EP the group have gone deeper still with a bludgeoning atmospheric sound that edges towards the sagacity of Corpsessed with the bellowing crawl of Encoffination still at hand.

The lure of early Incantation dynamics are impossible to deny when seeking to blur the margins of doom metal and death metal and ‘Primitive Death Trance’ continues Shambles‘ resemblance of that sound while achieving a sort of ‘deliberate imprecision’ characteristic of early death/doom demos and releases. Not as shapelessly atmospheric as Grave Upheaval but not as tightly wound as either Father Befouled or Anatomia, Shambles successfully create the titular effect intended. Where I begin to lose some interest in the ‘trance’ of it all is in the details, or relative lack thereof.

As a primarily atmospheric experience I can entirely appreciate and enjoy this type of release in moderation. Without any certain memorable or distinctive factor beyond sound/style I couldn’t form any great personal attachment to ‘Primitive Death Trance’. It is some righteous unholy caverncore, that’s for damn sure but not so unexpected that I found myself dying to re-listen. I could recommend previewing any of the four tracks here as their riffs, pacing, and sound are all relatively similar. The intro riffs on “Daemon” are fantastic for setting the stage for the EP and “Dismal Pantheons” offers some greater play with pace and some wild, scratched-out down-tuned death metal riffs that I’d recommend. A strong death/doom release from a band I hope to hear slightly more variety from in the future.


Artist Shambles
Type EP
Released December 31, 2017
BUY/LISTEN on Blood Harvest Records’ Bandcamp!  Follow Shambles on Facebook
Death Metal

Fiends in darkest night. 3.25/5.0

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