Macabra - Blood-Nurtured Nature (Metalhit.com)

Chunky riffs, headbanging passages: after hearing this album Macabra will definitely be your daily fix of Old School death metal!

The old-schoolers are back to stay, there’s no way to deny it, and Mark Riddick (Grave Wax, Moonroot, The Soil Bleeds Black, Unburied, Equimanthorn – as musician, and maker of artwork for heaps of bands in the underground world) presents his new joint venture with the vocalist Adrien "Liquifier" Weber (Conjüratör, Archaic, Crux Dissimulata, Goatholocaust, Lüger, between others) called Macabra and its full length called Blood-Nurtered Nature.

The first seconds of the opener Life is a Symptom leave no doubts of their intention with this opus: churlish riffs and a mid-paced drumming along with the mega guttural voice of Weber, that soon change musical phrases to a doom-laden beat, with the guitar stamping in a range that makes it impossible for die-hards to not bang their heads and whip out their air guitars. Still the production is wearily muddy (I’m avoiding the word “sludgy” in order to not be open to misinterpretations) and the feeling that this album was recorded somewhere between 1998-1992 is inevitable. 

That being said, the other tracks follow the same mood of the first, with a special emphasis in the guitar work, since the drums are programmed, but it doesn’t jeopardise the atmosphere of the CD.

Fragments of Torpor is not the most eminent moment of the album, presenting nothing so different from the first track, but the third song, called Hominal Peel Diggers, with its swamp intro and the remarkable riffage, brings back “fist-in-the-air” sensation and the vocalizations with its UHHH, UGHHHH, are pure Hellhammer, and the riffs float between Messiah and Autopsy to cite old acts, and more in a field of Necros Christos to cite something more “recent”. The terrorist melodies seems extracted from an old movie, and some keyboards gives it the proper cryptic ambience, just in the fashion (ahem) of the first bands of the style, mainly the American ones.

It’s not a fast album of sorts. It’s ratcheting all the way and the more you listen to it, the muddier and heavier it seems. Over again the unobtrusive keyboards makes its mark by making Macabra living up to its name!

But the real star of Blood-Nurtured Nature is the fifth track called Consuming the Flash Wax. I got myself singing along the guitar parts. Score! It’s when the album completely catches you up, and the variation of vocals makes the song 50% Autopsy and the other 50% Incantation. Then, the unexpected: the track, without losing its grasp, sinks in a melodic piece with a really slow and contemplative guitar and then again, after some seconds, the track comes back to an up-beating phantasmagoric death metal.

However a strange template is noticed thus far: that the phrases of the CD (with few exceptions) are made in double: phrase, repeat, another phrase, repeat, and so on. That makes the whole album easy-listening and puts the band in a safe haven far from the tech-death metal that is made nowadays, without sounding mediocre at all. The creativity pours out of Riddick’s veins (he performed all the  instruments) and circumspectly the music takes form. (Although the project is American, Weber made his vocals in a funerarium in Belgium (or so the press release claims).

Thick Slabs of Moribund is deliciously ghoulish and after a piece with those aforementioned keyboards, the song stops, a breath is briefly heard and the death metal utterly replaces it. This is real stuff kids, more necro than your fave black metal band. Had this band been emerged in the final of eighties, they would surely had influenced a great deal of the Scandinavian scene.

Contribution to your Dis-elaboration with its occult intro makes the listener beg for more. A junction of Mortuary Drape and Acheron is fully remarked and this song is evilly glorious.

The somewhat broken guitar notes of the closer Exile to Sanity opens the way to a REAL weird riff, and the progression of this tune makes it somewhat detached from the rest of the CD, and the album ends abruptly. Simply like that. 

Inorganic this is not, and Macabra will soon earn their place in the hearts of those who seek for obscure, intense and heavy death metal sounds.