Today we have the privilege of sharing an early stream of ‘Cultura de la Muerte‘ the much anticipated sixth full-length album from Polish blackened death metal band STILLBORN which releases this Friday, June 10th on Compact Disc, Cassette, 12″ Vinyl, and digitally by way of cult Polish extreme metal label Godz ov War Productions.
The sixth chapter from this south-eastern Polish death metal band features an instantly notable shift from their past several releases, now featuring more brutal death metal calamity in their rhythms but without losing the classic blackened touch to their guitar work. Anyone already familiar with this band will instantly notice they’ve switched drummers, now featuring Młody whom is best known for his work in Dissenter and nowadays in Embrional and the fellow has likewise produced and engineered ‘Cultura de la Muerte‘ to great effect, making for what is arguably the most brutal release from Stillborn to date. This sound is instantly akin to the sort of second generation of death metal in Poland, arguably post-1994 or so when bands began to push the limits of their regional sound, usually heavily influenced by Morbid Angel and/or Deicide, into the realms of both brutal death metal rhythms and black metal. This is a sound worth seeking out for folks who love death metal but appreciate the bestial, mayhemic edge of Angelcorpse and their ilk. So, when approaching ‘Cultura de la Muerte‘ I’d instantly been take back to the days of collecting CDs (or, poorly made bootlegs) from bands like Damnation, (early) Hate, Dissenter, Azarath and Infernal War which for me was around the time ‘Litany‘ released and beyond. When we actually sit down and listen to the band’s work it is clear that they’ve meant to infuse their own intensity into those traditional blackened death sounds but this is a good reference to start.
Though there are many standout pieces herein I’d found myself leaning heavily into Side B‘s slightly longer pieces where the thunder and whorl of “Odkupienie” was the song to really kick the record into step and suggest they’d not just phoned this record in. “Wedrowiec” likewise caught my ear on each full listen, slowing down for effect yet presenting one of the faster bursts of speed on the album otherwise to ensure you’ve been torn between to realms when listening. As for the first half of the album most of the first four songs are a bit shorter and feature the major voice of the band up front, which tends towards brutal ~3-4 minute pieces with traditional song structures and impressively athletic feats of death, music that is primarily obsessed with the riff but aiming for havoc with its rhythms. In this regard “Triumfator – Pogromca” cannot be ignored here as a solid example of Stillborn‘s distinctly pure form of blackened riffcraft landing in an age of brutal death, which guitarist/vocalist Killer pushes even further in Anima Damnata, a certain shade of technique which bleeds into “Profanacja i Bluznierstwo” seamlessly. Overall we have a tour of the vitality of Stillborn on display with ‘Cultura de la Muerte‘ a traditional knack for violent death metal which manages bestial brutality without losing the precision cut-and-stab of classic death rhythms. I’ve found it to be one of the best releases of June thus far and a reminder that plenty of ruthless death metal still brews in the east.
Thanks goes out to the artist, their label and representation for the opportunity to share this album early. Scroll down to the SoundCloud embed below to experience the whole thing, as always do your best to support the Polish death metal underground and grab a physical copy from Godz ov War Productions‘ Bandcamp or webstore.
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