Released: 2004, Willowtip
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Chalk up another winner from Willowtip. Along with Victory Records, Willowtip is one of the most exciting labels out there and the bands that they are signing are original, strong and incredibly talented. The latest Willowtip offering I got the pleasure to review is FRACTURED from Florida’s Capharnaum. The band is comprised of members of Monstrosity, Martyr and Trivium but this is not just run-of-the-mill death metal. Sure there are elements of early 90s Florida death, but there are also hardcore, prog and melodic death that trickle in, as well. One minute there is Arch Enemy-infused dual guitar riffing, while the next is complex Morbid Angel-like solos. FRACTURED is just under a half hour in length and it truly leaves the listener wanting more.
“Ingrained” and “Fractured” feature some amazing solos from Jason Suecof and Daniel Mongrain, and while technically proficient, they do not overpower the songs with melodramatic wankery. “The Scourge Trial” has some cool feedback effects used during the solo, too. “Icon of Malice,” featuring Jason Suecof on lead vocals, boasts a powerful rhythm section with brutally heavy bass and drums from Mike Poggione and Jordan Suecof. “Perpetuate Catatonia” is about as far away from the truth as can be, with death vocals by Matt Heafy that will rattle you to the bone. “Refusal” features an outro of guitar noodling/jamming where the band really shows off their collective prowess.
The one thing that separates Capharnaum from the pack is the fact that they write good songs. FRACTURED is technical death metal but without cookie monster vocals, lightning fast riffage or triggered drum beats. They have forsaken all of the wizardry that can pollute and essentially ruin a good death metal album. Like the legendary Death before them, Capharnaum embraces the many different angles of metal and incorporates them into one nifty package.
KILLER KUTS: “Ingrained,” “Perpetuate Catatonia,” “Icon of Malice”