Released: 2016, Xtreem Music
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Killing Addiction are like the Peter Pan of Florida death metal; they refuse to grow up and leave 1993. Born out of the scene’s second wave alongside the likes of Brutality, Equinox and Monstrosity, Killing Addiction were a cult hit with their OMEGA FACTOR debut (anyone else remember the JL America ads in Metal Maniacs?).
The band went splitsville not long after the album was released and we wouldn’t get a proper follow up until 2010’s FALL OF THE ARCHETYPES. Despite the passage of time, the band sounded just as primal and old school in 2010 as they did 17 years prior, because you stick with what you know. Since then the band has had sporadic bursts of activity in the form of 2014’s WHEN DEATH BECOMES AN ART EP and their recently released SHORES OF OBLIVION EP. Listening to these four new tracks, it’s clear that not a damn thing has changed, and we’re grateful for it.
“Engine of Ruin” rumbles like a war machine taking command of the battlefield. Full of mid-tempo Bolt Thrower riffs and some archaic Paradise Lost twin harmonies, it’s a helluva re-introduction. “Cult of Decay” is a fantastic example of what the death metal scene was about back in the day, full of galloping arpeggio’d hammer-ons and guttural exhalations, it just sounds friggin’ evil. “Extinction Agenda” leans heavier on the accelerator and gets the pit moving, while the closing “Into Shadow” has some doom flirtations and revisits the Greg Mackintosh harmonies again. SHORES OF OBLIVION is over just as its starts getting really good, which sucks for obvious reasons, but if this is the best material that Killing Addiction is content with releasing for now, you’ve gotta respect that decision. Take a moment to catch your breath and press play again.
Sadly, SHORES OF OBLIVION marks the final recording of the band’s original lineup, as founding guitarist Chad Bailey passed away last fall. SHORES OF OBLIVION is a fitting send off for Chad, as it features some of the band’s best songs and performances to date. If you grew up with this era of death metal or just have an appreciation for the scene’s lesser heroes, you’ll appreciate what a living time capsule Killing Addiction has become.