Extremity – Coffin Birth (2018) REVIEW

Postmortem fetal extrusion is a rare and hazy phenomenon involving the expulsion of a nonviable (“extremely fucking dead”) fetus after the death of the carrier. Theories suggest it occurs as a byproduct of decompositional gases bloating the abdomen, aiding complete uterine prolapse, which is typical for decomposing women who’ve given birth multiple times. This ‘coffin birth’ gets it’s name from the ever imaginative archaeologists who discovered infants inside disinterred tombs. The rarity and extremity of circumstances leading up to coffin birth limits research on the event, providing the perfect ghoulish curiosity as a banner for Oakland, California’s Extremity to plaster across their old school death metal debut ‘Coffin Birth’. Though their résumés precede them with hideous loft, this first full-length aims to elevate the most classic forms of death metal rather than reshape tried and true methodology.

‘Extremely Fucking Dead’ was an atrocity exhibition, a shooting gallery of Bolt Thrower influenced riffs and the burly gasp of early Grave. It was a hammer aimed at the cerebellum, an EP serving freshly torn meat with great intensity. In this sense Extremity met expectations set by it’s collective member’s past and present projects. Formed in 2016 as a pact between Marissa Martinez-Hoadley (Cretin), Shelby Lermo (Vastum) and Aesop Dekker (Khôrada, Vhol) the band’s approach mutated dramatically in the space of just one year. ‘Coffin Birth’ appears with the same clever stylistic curation that thankfully plagues most of the bands leaving Earhammer Studios (Acephalix, Necrot, Vastum) and they escape with a gloriously polished, scuzzed, and spit-roasted sound.

You’ll undoubtedly hear nods to Unleashed (“Grave Mistake”), Carcass (“Like Father Like Son”), early Bolt Thrower (“Where Evil Dwells”, “Misbegotten – Coffin Death”) and these influences bring varietal pace, texture, and plenty of axe-swinging, groovin’ death metal riffs the world hungers for since ‘Those Once Loyal’. The vocals often remind me of early Death with some of Gorefest‘s more growling, hysterical moments. “Grave Mistake” has a brilliant group-shouted part that really stands out alongside it’s clever post-Nihilist and Autopsy riffing. The gist is that if you’re a fan of 90’s death metal classics there will be a lot of good shit to unpack as you spend time with the album. ‘Coffin Birth’ isn’t as rapid-fire as Necrot or as cleverly revolting as Vastum but Extremity can one hundred percent hang shoulder-to-shoulder with the best Bay Area death metal groups today.

You’re getting pure death metal from Extremity. There is no progressive lilt, no funeral doom sluice, no post-anything fluttering, their ammunition is vintage and their execution a myriad storm of growling, corpse-kicking grooves. So, if you’re not in the mood for yet another great old school death metal record this year you’d better damn well get in the mood. They’ve checked every box here with great album art, perfect album length, clean-but-gurgling sound, and plenty of riffs. Not already exhausted by the old school death metal hailstorm that 2018 has been? ‘Coffin Birth’ raises the bar just enough to drown several comparable releases out. It is a bold, rotten and highly repeatable experience.

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Artist Extremity
Type Album
Released July 20, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on 20 Buck Spin’s Bandcamp! Follow Extremity on Facebook
Genres
Death Metal

Start to fucking decompose. 4.0/5.0

 

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