Faithxtractor – Proverbial Lambs to the Ultimate Slaughter (2018) REVIEW

Few mediums offer outlet for anti-religious and nihilistic philosophy that satisfies on the level of extreme metal. Snapping back at the slow-burning war of passive aggression from monotheistic religious cults is inevitable and blasphemic heavy metal is the right antibiotic when the infected shamble too close for comfort. First we will burn their churches, then… Eh, I mean Cincinnati, Ohio death metal band Faithxtractor offer meditations on the shadows of mankind’s ultimate existential frivolities and condense the bitter realities of followers, and their masters, into thrashing semi-melodic death metal. Formed as a studio project in 2005 but a functionally touring live band since 2013 Faithxtractor offer a righteous stream of Scandinavian influenced head-banging death metal on their third full-length ‘Proverbial Lambs to the Ultimate Slaughter’.

Active in death metal projects since the early 90’s main songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ash Thomas was/is a key member from two brutally forgotten groups Thorns of the Carrion and Estuary. Always conscious of melody, variation, and pulling in a wide range of influences into his songwriting Thomas seems to have created Faithxtractor as an outlet for ideas that don’t necessarily fit within the highly melodic Estuary nor his other projects Crucified Mortals and Shed the Skin. Beyond 2013 the inclusion of a live lineup and an increased number of releases and projects seems to signal a greater seriousness, a ‘now or never’ push to collaborate and create that has lead to several excellent releases from each project. Faithxtractor‘s latest stands in the light of 2018 as a more meticulous and callously retching beast with the jagged roll of Entombed‘s ‘Left Hand Path’ commiserating with the crawling thrash of later Goreaphobia.

Earlier Faithxtractor releases ‘Razing the World of Myth’ (2008) and ‘The Great Shadow Infiltrator’ (2013) leaned towards death/thrash whereas ‘Proverbial Lambs to the Ultimate Slaughter’ has a more urgent and immediate strike upon the iron with greater exploration of melodic death/black tonality. This crossing of shores and sub-genre swords reminds me of groups like Epoch of Unlight, (early) Abominant, Vomitory, as well as newer groups like Angerot and Inisans. Though the guitar tone and some familiar melodic ideas liken Faithxtractor‘s sound to well-known Swedes on casual listens, a closer look reveals plenty of classic US death metal traditions within the slightly Scandinavian guitar tone. I realize this could very well sound like an old Estuary review but consider this a far more brutal ‘old school’ attack that goes in for the kill without resting on anything precocious.

‘Proverbial Lambs to the Ultimate Slaughter’ is an above-par modern underground death metal record in the sense that it’s style is successfully cumulative of it’s influences. There are clusters of strong riffs and other blips of excitement appear as scurrying movements in between larger hits of ruthless brutality and energetic death/thrashing. As such the full listen might be succinct but can feel labored due to it’s dense collection of ideas. This is it’s cursed virtue in my ears as repeated listens gave me different songs to focus on even if the whole of the album has a mildly foggy identity. At the end of the day Faithxtractor offer many tangents in good taste that collectively serve as downpour from a vessel of ripping death metal neither self-conscious nor pretentious.

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Artist FaithXtractor
Type Album
Released July 27, 2018
BUY/LISTEN on Hell’s Headbangers Records’ Bandcamp! Follow Faithxtractor on Facebook
Genres  Death Metal

Vast vision through the blindness. 3.75/5.0

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