Released: 2004, Osmose Productions
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
After 2002’s DIES IRAE E.P. got things buzzing, France’s Act of Gods is here with their debut full-length release, STENCH OF CENTURIES. Taking equal parts of Possessed and old Morbid Angel, the band is unrelenting in their delivery of brutal, gory, old school death metal. Ventylator’s vocals are top-notch, while the guitar work of Doster Isk (who has since left the band) and Phil is full of nods to ALTAR OF SACRIFICE and SEVEN CHURCHES. Unfortunately, these comparisons due not trickle down to the actual music as the songs are mediocre at best.
“Flagellation” starts out promising enough, with Ventylator belching out some decent vocals but soon after, everything falls flat. There is absolutely nothing memorable here and despite repeated listens, the only thing that really sticks in my head is the sampled music from THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE that opens “Misanthropic Chainsaw Dismemberment.” Phil and Guillaume are a pair of old dogs who came from a “legendary” band called Mutilated—who I have never heard of—and their music sadly seems stuck in a time warp back when Mutilated originally released their two demos in 1988 and 1992.
With nothing memorable, nothing new and nothing much to offer for your hard-earned dollar, it is difficult to recommend STENCH OF CENTURIES. There are dozens of superior death metal records that could be better explored than this tired rehash of old riffs and borrowed ideas.
KILLER KUTS: “Flagellation”