Severance are one of the longest running Texas-based death metal veterans that I know of. I still remember very well the times when the band released their ripping and malignant 5-track AFTERBIRTH OF INFAMY demo (1991) and 2-track ABYSMAL ASCENT (on Drowned Productions in 1992) 7″ EP. Both releases still stand as some of the most classic underground death metal releases in my unholy books of respect and admiration.
Since those days Severance has undergone numerous lineup changes, recorded 3 full-length studio albums off which THE TRUTH IN QUESTION, is their latest one. Music-wise, this is not the same Severance I remember them being from the days I heard them for the first time, but I guess we cannot blame on them much either for changing drastically the band´s sound over these 3 decades, can we? Things just tend to happen, and while listening to Severance´s almost recently released 9-song offering, it´s safe to say that they still do deliver their goods properly enough though.
Severance´s technical and chunky death metal on THE TRUTH IN QUESTION falls basically into the same category where bands like Suffocation, Pyrexia, Torture Killer and some other heavy and downright brutal sounding death metal combos – with tons of blasting speeds and stuff, suck their life fluids and energy from. The use of several meaty riffs, vicious blast beat attacks, continuously changing and breathing songs parts, etc., they all create a steady backbone for all that how Severance sounds like in 2011. It´s no denying, however, that they have sacrificed quite a big part of that sound that they used to have back in the day – and mutated it into something that doesn´t allow them differ from the masses that much at all any more. It´s understandable that it´s very hard to stick to your original recipe forever if your soldiers come and go as far as keeping your loyal troops together is concerned. In Severance´s case they do sound a totally different band compared to their early years, but if one is able to block out a vision how they sounded some 19-20 years ago – and give some repeated listens to this overall decent opus, then undoubtedly you may start liking this. Severance have still managed to carry some true ´kill potentiality´ in them despite having some losses in their troops within the past 2 decades – and it´s songs like “Beyond Barriers”, “Ambivalent Reflections” and “Hum-unkind” that are able to offer some serious kicks straight to a listener´s crotch, full of malicious intent to make you impotent.
Strangely, it´s a cover song of the Brazilian thrashers Attomica, titled “Marching over Blood / Samurai”, that is a true highlight track off this record, i.e. wicked and just killer in nature, reminding quite much of early Krisiun. Perhaps they sound also consider blending their forthcoming material with some tiny bits of thrash metal because it seems to work for them so well?
Nonetheless, THE TRUTH IS QUESTION is a pretty nice package of brutal, technically played – blast beat filled American death metal after all, so let´s hope it won´t take another 5 years from them to get their next release out as it´s been the case between each of their previous album thus far.
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02. Beyond Barriers
03. Internal Inferno
04. Marred Souls
05. Ambivalent Reflections
06. Ascension to Nowhere
07. Immune to Immorality
08. Marching over Blood / Samurai*
* Attomica cover