GALVANIZER – Prying Sight of Imperception (2021)REVIEW

Where once there was only shifting there is suddenly a beast rampant in triumphant otherness, all fluid and gleaming the throes of a cataclysmic future convulsion in which metal fuses with flesh, the cyborg synthetic ecstasy that is the fiction of a science or the science of a fiction and the love of a machine past all fear of rejection,” David Wills, Prosthesis

Uninteresting as it might be to folks searching for a deep-hidden underground white whale that’d sourced the major anthropological revelations of the signature ‘old school’ Finnish death metal style origin, we need not endlessly multiply entities for the sake of answering for greater Scandinavia via the most obvious bestsellers, raw U.K. and North American shapes given high-rate mutation by intrepid teenagers over the course of just a few long winters in the mid-to-late 80’s. This won’t necessarily do when positing the main driver for the ‘old school’ death metal and grindcore influenced sound of southern Finnish trio Galvanizer, the specific resonances within this second full-length are far too interesting to glance over, but the biggest picture available is yet the most accurate observation. ‘Prying Sight of Imperception‘ is no less keen on the arcane death/grind combo tag than their previous record in practice but, the safest observation one could make upon smuggling this half hour socket-forker into ear is that death looms heaviest over the chasm between modi operandi this time around.

A grindcore influenced ‘old school’ death metal album is not a Rubik’s cube to solve yet the ever-active mind’s eagerness to categorize nonetheless puzzles away at familiar patterns ’til they’ve expressed their own angular point of view. The most interesting point I’d applied to all previous Galvanizer records was this ability to hang between Finnish and Swedish deathgrind niches, representing the shared love of early Carcass with both scenes but never sticking with a too obvious point of imitation. The nascent visions of Carnage, Xysma and the spastic pre-’92 mentality of Carbonized were equally on the table for ‘Horrid Tales of Death…‘ (2015) as was the somewhat brief, forgotten era of Terrorizer worship across Sweden, resembling the earliest generations to leave behind youthful kängpunk beginnings for death metal. By the time these folks had put out their first full-length album (‘Sanguine Vigil‘, 2018) the balance was yet comparable to nearby old-schoolers Cadaveric Incubator and perhaps Sadistic Drive but Galvanizer had the clearest path forward, er, the best riffs to grow on alongside a clear notion of dynamic and aesthetic that made their debut more memorable to some degree circa 2018. Here just a few years later very little has changed but the greater bars for sub-genre ratio and riff standard have been raised.

What is new here on ‘Prying Sight of Imperception’ beyond a general uptick in death metal precision and rotten, bouncing production values? A few shades of Bolt Thrower inspired leads (see: “The Inexorable”) and a few cuts into ‘Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious’ territory which highlight the full listen. The major references here are obvious choices from my point of view but might depend on your interest in Austrian deathgrind such as early Disharmonic Orchestra, Disastrous Murmur as well as the prime-mover, obscure Swedish ‘Necroticism’-enjoyers Excruciate and their ‘Passage of Life‘ record. “Blaze From Within” strongly resembles the off-kilter death-attuned Terrorizer bump found on ‘Rhapsodies in Red‘, and Excruciate‘s “Confused Mind” and Galvanizer‘s “Servants of the Scourge” are nearly chrono-scrambled twins displaced by several generations. I suggest this merely to identify the various species involved and introduce existing precedent for this particular blender of strong riffs and grinding-yet-melodic infusion that ‘Prying Sight of Imperception’ brings anew to their sound. Knowing these various portals to grotesque dimensions helps me to instantly recognize Galvanizer as “the good shit” but the more modernity attuned listener already entrenched in the throes of say, Caustic Wound‘s ‘Death Posture’ will still understand this ancient language shared amongst classic death and grind crossover action.

So, what of the actual listening experience? Precise in movement, scattered in thought, crazed but still compressed, occasionally revelatory via its melodic peaks and appropriately brief for its high density of harassment. What’d struck me along the way is just how Swedish some of the more “plain” moments sounded in the moment, such as the chunk n’ jog of “Ground Above” which shows no strict adherence to Finnish elder chthonicisms. Because of the high value grindcore component and the guitar tone the random Nasum and Impaled notation from the uninitiated will yet make sense if we zoom out to parse those implications, there are moments here nearly that frantic (“Dia De Muertos”, “Blaze From Within”) which tear us away from the more rigid implications of style otherwise. None of these moments compare to the melodic breaks in “The Ever-Crescent”, “Of Flesh Unknown” and the up-front double-fisted flood of “Servants of the Scourge” and “The Inexorable” which I’d consider the collective moment to ideally ‘sell’ this record to a broadest audience and strike a few nails deeper into the memory banks. For my own taste ‘Prying Sight of Imperception’ is one of the strongest releases of July because it provides such an array of brief melodic hooks and in-the-pocket grinds beyond pure death-grinding abuse. Does that mean it’ll stick on my shelf for ages? Probably not, since they’ve not gone “full blast” with any one specialty introduced here to the point of major distinction but, it is a CD I doubt I’ll resist grabbing when I see it out in the wild. A high recommendation.

High recommendation. (77/100)

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.
TITLE:Prying Sight of Imperception
LABEL(S):Me Saco Un Ojo Records,
Everlasting Spew Records
RELEASE DATE:July 30th, 2021
BUY & LISTEN:Bandcamp
GENRE(S):Death Metal,

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