From the moment you fire up this debut full-length from Miami, Florida death thrashers Create A Kill all preconceived ideas about their sound and style should fling you unmercifully six feet under to choke on the meth flavored worms of early 90’s death metal. ‘Summoned to Rise’ is a pure throwback to ’91-’93 era of United States death and thrash metal and that’d be a tiresome thought were this band not conceived by folks who were at the tip of Florida’s death metal spear back in the day. Beaten into form by two folks best known for their drumming past-and-present; Create A Kill operates at the speed of death, that hammering pace that Alex Marquez snapped necks with back in 1992 as he stepped up for Malevolent Creation‘s ‘Retribution’ and ‘Stillborn’ as well as underrated death/thrash project Solstice. Marquez is here on ‘Summoned to Rise’ providing vocals as he teams up with drummer Gus Rios (Gruesome, ex-Malevolent Creation). The connections between the two drummers throughout the last several decades is interesting enough; Rio‘s first band Sickness were lauded as heavily inspired by Malevolent Creation back in the mid-90’s and each drummer had a notable spot in that band as well as various Divine Empire and Resurrection albums. This project formed with proto-death and brutal thrash metal as their point of worship and serves less a call back to each musician’s past. They rip heads off throughout with riffs cluttering this beast front-to-back; ‘Summoned to Rise’ ends up being way, way more solid than it has any right to be.
Although the opener “Create a Kill” hits like a B-side for ‘Retribution’ the majority of ‘Summoned to Rise’ vaults between a raw, forceful style of brutal thrash metal that came with Dark Angel‘s (among others) influence upon US thrash metal in the mid-to-late 80’s. Though Create A Kill will draw immediate comparisons to Solstice and Demolition Hammer because of its hard focus on double bass intensity it’d make sense to also point towards Epidemic‘s underrated ‘Decameron’ in terms of guitar work as well as the Revenant, Hellwitch and Ripping Corpse school of technical death/thrash. None of these comparisons necessarily work throughout the full-listen because they smartly shift between pure death metal and brutal thrash consistently. There is a phenomenon of familiarity and influence from my perspective as a death/thrash obsessive as major movements of “Decimate” (see: Devastation‘s “Freewill”) perked my ears along with the progression of certain verses of “Premeditated” (see: Bifrost‘s “Fimbulwinter: A Tale of Hate”). The major appeal here isn’t that they remind me of various great riff records but that ‘Summoned to Rise’ ends up being one itself.
Reading between the lines of my impenetrable namedrops you’ll find that Create A Kill have achieved that ‘brutal’ thrash feeling that rides the line between classic bands that had reached extremist tendencies in the late 80’s and early 90’s bands that were influenced by them. Marquez‘ vocals are frantic and savage as classic Steve Reynolds (Demolition Hammer) but with a snarl I’d say is an inch closer to Morbid Saint; I’m somewhat surprised that Marquez doesn’t drum on the album, it feels like his style throughout, though Rios is just as capable. These guys don’t really take a breath and in packing every song with speed, blasts, riffs and snarls it all effectively takes me back to those early Vader and Malevolent Creation records in the best way possible. I guess what determines how long and album like this will stay on my deck depends on how badly I need a revised version of that nostalgia.
A record like ‘Summoned to Rise’ hits that undeniable point of aggression I look for and while I find that same magic in groups like Oxygen Destroyer and Rapture, Create A Kill definitely sound like old pros pushing hard on this record. For my own listening habits this is not a great album to leave on repeat as it is relentless in attack and cranked in the mix. I found myself putting it on for one or two spins to avoid a headache and this is typically a fault of less dynamic mixing but I can’t confirm that either way; What matters more is that I was consistently entertained by this record from the first moment I’d actually given it a chance. If you’re a riff maniac and you love the convergence of late 80’s extreme thrash and early 90’s death metal jump on this album right away, I’d highly recommend it. The version I’m reviewing includes “Flesh, Blood & Stone” a tribute to Breff Hoffmann of Malevolent Creation, who passed away earlier this year; For preview I’d suggest that track but also “Cold Blooded” for its opening grooves, “Show of Force” for its infectious qualities, and “Decimate” because ‘Idolatry’ is one of my favorite thrash records.
Surges of excruciating pain. 3.75/5.0
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