PERILAXE OCCLUSION – Raytraces of Death (2021)REVIEW

In trance of creation, hunched over a quadruple screened spider-armed display, splattered with dried energy drink-tacked detritus, the maestro — Creator and destroyer of false worlds, inflictor of pain and maybe a bit of a gore-fiend by necessity… We enter the minds of the modelers, the renderers, the animators of infinite death, the whippers of unpaid testers: The video game development horde. For sure Toronto, Canada-based death metal duo Perilaxe Occlusion are up to their same ruthlessly heavy shit on this second demo ‘Raytraces of Death‘ which’d arrived just six months past the first (late June originally) as they almost indirectly address the mentality of creating horrendous, disturbing interactivity via riffs, big honking traditional death metal riffs delivered hot n’ loud. Big riffs and a kinda fun theme might be as deep as it gets from here and well, that might still prove worthwhile if we can discern a compelling enough path forward from needling-out this second set of pieces.

Déjà vu is the appropriate response here since guitarist/bassist XT has retained his unholy loud Colin Richardson-esque tonal crispiness with a bit of Scandinavian bottom end to it, allowing for pure overdrive that splashes as hard as the kit when the riffs land. The major difference here is cutting some of the bleeding fuzz from the high-end and eliminating the mushy layer of noise featured on the first demo. This reads quite a bit cleaner and well, at this point it may be a demo but this is beyond the standard of sound design we find in a lot of modern ‘old school’ cognizant death metal full-lengths today. XE (Korrosive, Into Oblivion) is likewise a key presence here, more of a stomper than a ‘sit back and blast’ type who could probably out-‘Necroticism…‘ the current Carcass output if prompted. I won’t suggest that the songwriting here is above average just yet but that the performances and the sound engineering certainly are. They write a mean riff but lets not go geeking out too hard without a closer listen, where in fact some of these songs feel somewhat rushed out compared to ‘Exponential Decay‘ (2020) falling back on some of the same change-ups and a few Tomb Mold-assed riffs that follow a similar pattern of elastic progression. Sure, this is a reality of “traditional” death metal songcraft if it is to have any timeless reference but I don’t think these guys will entertain this specific medium forever; They’re ready to push way past this crunchy Neanderthal grind sooner than later as we touch the monolith of “Geometric Dismemberment”, wherein Perilaxe Occlusion phase out of their skin and lean into something far more cinematically charged, some kind of post-death metal sendoff that almost blends with the imposing terror the rest of the record serves. Compelling but nearly out of character considering the five other pieces they’ve released.

Video game development is tedious, soul-crushing work which now has a very public reputation for resembling an almost “too modern to acknowledge” version of human slavery in cases of corporate exploitation and mistreatment, every aspect of this process amounts to suffering when investigated, and to get even a glimpse into the mind of the creators of these elaborately programmed machinations of “infinite imagined death” truly is a fine lyrical concept. So, I guess the obvious expectation I’ve had is that some kind of implementation of this conceptual universe will merge with the organic death metal Perilaxe Occlusion manifests as. No, of course I don’t mean I’m waiting for their 8-bit remix tape or a collaboration with Master Boot Record but instead some indication that these two worlds of very real ultra-chunk death metal and eye-burning wireframe techno-gorevoids are purposefully connected beyond lyrics. It certainly won’t be contingent on my enjoyment of their output, though, as they continue to basically print money with each of these bold n’ loud demos featuring multiple formats/pressings on several labels. Ultimately these three songs offer a solid rip through more of the same with a bit of an unnerving twist at the end, consistency is what pays off best here on ‘Raytraces of Death’. The version I’ve been impressed with and mean to specifically mention is the clear vinyl edition and that’d come down to my preference of format. A high recommendation.

High recommendation. (77/100)

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.
TITLE:Raytraces of Death
LABEL(S):Blood Harvest Records
RELEASE DATE:August 6th, 2021 [Vinyl]
BUY & LISTEN:Bandcamp
GENRE(S):Death Metal

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