HECATOMB – Horrid Invocations (2021)REVIEW

There’ll be no portending the calamity upon us as Melbourne, Australia based duo Hecatomb arrive with this maniac signal boost for their self-relayed brand of “sacrificial death metal”. Hurling their bodies with psychotic muscular spasm-fed riffs across every bloody second of this fever-blistered warrior cry of a first demo, ‘Invocations‘ serves to make an unforgettable name out of the project before the first song has even finished landing. Originally self-released in the first quarter of anno MMXX on cassette tape the waves this one pulls are too righteously physical to contain to just one continent and as we see their attack spread the world over in the coming weeks the appeal will be fairly obviate for folks already attuned to Australia’s own brand of extreme “evil” thrashing death metal.

Formed back in 2018 between guitarist Rick Warkill and co-guitarist, vocalist, bassist, drummer and main songwriter Maggressor it seems this project has some ties to Norway in terms of station. Their goals should be immediately clear from the first, I dunno, ten seconds of the first song though they do develop being sheer brutality as the tape progresses. Taking cues from the insane cusp of black/death and thrash metal from Australia’s early aggression (beyond Alchemist, Armored Angel, et al.) Hecatomb have surely studied and adored the violence of Sadistik Exekution and Martire to some degree though these should be staples for anyone seeking black/death guided via classic mid-to-late 80’s thrash metal extremity. Echoing vocals, rabid and hand-crushing death metal riffs with the occasional nuclear blackened hook each drive the experience beyond frantic and generally uncomplicated caveman thrasher drumming. If we were to dig deeper into the wilderness of their minds I don’t think we’d be far from early Nifelheim in spirit and especially in tune with my favorites Vomitor. The effect is ultimately thrashing bestial death metal though I would assume folks will want to hear black metal here on some level, I’d say maybe if we lean into the bonus track exclusive to the CD and vinyl editions (“Horrid Invocations”) as it goes nuclear at the end and find a few black metal riffs but the majority of the material is as amorphous as Slaughter Lord or Blood Spill in that sense while offering a constant barrage of high speed punishment.

The experience isn’t any more complicated than diabolic riffs, vile echoing shouts, and a shambling entirely human sense of movement that crushes as fast as possible without losing the plot. The effect is basically a demo tape from 1988 created by whatever fucking magic these guys had to turn to get these crumbling nuclear fallout guitar tones and “garage with a portal to Hell” anti-production values. The whole thing is an honest thrill to behold if you’re attuned to the grisly, ancient triangulation between nascent combinations of black/death metal, extreme thrash metal, and the yet unwritten laws of extreme metal in the late 80’s. They’ve nailed this sound, the feeling of traversing the great unknown of evil extreme metal, and done it with a keen ear for editing riffs to maximum impact. A moderately high recommendation.

Moderately high recommendation. (75/100)

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.
TITLE:Horrid Invocations
LABEL(S):Invictus Productions
RELEASE DATE:May 7th, 2021 [CD/mLP]
BUY & LISTEN:Bandcamp [All Formats]
GENRE(S):Black/Death Thrash Metal
Death/Thrash Metal

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