Released: 2014, Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
FIENDS AT FEAST and TRAGIC DEATH join forces to bring us Purgatory Rites, a split album of the most brutal Death/Black Metal kind. Both bands have their own unique take on the style, and this album offers a good glimpse into their sound. The production on both sides manages to capture a raw yet clear representation of what these bands have to offer: FIENDS AT FEAST is the faster of the two, with constant blast beats and ripping guitar riffs that go from haunting melodies to pure brutality, while TRAGIC DEATH allow a bit of a Thrash Metal influence into their sound, along with slower, sometimes doomier approach and guitar melodies straight from the Swedish school of Death Metal.
FIENDS AT FEAST hail from Santa Cruz, California, and the songs they have contributed in Purgatory Rites are full of blasting, fast drumming, low growled vocals and Black Metal- influenced riffs. After an eerie spoken word introduction, the band immediately get down to business with "Four Winds of Destruction", a relentless number that is played fast all the way through, with some great guitar riffs. "Through Immortal Gates" starts out fast but then drops into a slower, more groove-oriented section. For me, though, the real gem here is "Into The Darkness" which contains some lead guitar work that reminded me of MERCYFUL FATE at the beginning, played over some of the most brutal double bass drum beats. The guitar riffs on this song just keep coming, and the band manages to sound really brutal on this track.
Madison, Wisconsin's TRAGIC DEATH, on the other hand, go for a more old school Death Metal approach to go along with the Black Metal tendencies. Personally, I really enjoyed the songs that the band contributed to this record, as these allow for many styles to meld into them. "Suffer the Salvation" kicks off with an air raid siren that leads into a double bass drum section that begins to build up the song; the band then quiet down during the middle section to go into a creepy clean guitar part with some effects thrown in that sound like a keyboard or a guitar effect. Whatever it is, it is pretty effective in building up tension, and once the band come back in again, they just explode. "Withering Youth" starts off with clean guitars before the band kick in with a slow Death Metal section with those nice Swedish Death Metal guitar melodies I mentioned earlier. TRAGIC DEATH close with the nine-minute plus "The Dissolution of the Clay Children" an epic track that basically summarizes the elements that the band uses nicely.
Purgatory Rites proves to be a solid effort, with both FIENDS AT FEAST and TRAGIC DEATH bringing in some pretty strong material to the table. I personally enjoyed the TRAGIC DEATH side more because of the doomier sections, yet I can't disregard FIENDS AT FEAST's aggressive collection of songs. The record offers anyone who is interested in the mixture of Death and Black Metal two unique ways of tackling the style. Horror Pain Gore Death Productions did really good in combining these bands for this release since they compliment each other perfectly.