News and Reviews
December 16, 2018 By Pavel
Firestarter Distribution, 2018
Music: Melodic Death Metal / Black Death Metal / Groove Metal
Duration: 49:19 minutes (12 tracks)
I rarely have the opportunity to listen to something from Australia, so the more I was interested in this music and even more because the band comes from Adelaide – a city whose name sounds like my daughter’s name…
AS I DESTRUCT is only a seemingly young band, because if they did not change the name – QUAERO VERUM, they would soon be celebrating the Xth anniversary. Anyway, “From FearTo Oblivion” is their debut album, which is open by a climatic melancholy piano-string prologue that is kind of a calm before the storm, and in the case of “From Fear To Oblivion” – it is a silence before a powerful hurricane.
Heavy, cutting guitar riffs – fast and technical – are stretched like a devastating typhoon creating a crushing wall of sound, which in combination with very intense drums work creates a base for predatory and monstrous growls, black rasps and screams… Here and there the calmer motifs are trying to break out – like pure guitars, piano passages or melodic solos, causing a source of moderate melancholy.
This Australian tornado has interlocked several species of Extreme Metal creating one huge hurricane, namely the pulse of Groove Metal, the murderous elements of Brutal Death Metal, the technics and melodics of Melodic Death Metal, and the rage and darkness of Black Metal. As a result, it created a horribly devastating energy, intelligent and at the same time furious… brutal and totally deadly… but at the same time melodic.
Epilogue, continuing the musical theme of the prologue, closes the album… Is it portend another silence before the next storm?
For the second time in this Unsigned and Unholy column I come back to Chimaira as a sonic touchstone, this time for As I Destruct. The band has a distinctly NWOAHM vibe with big, burly, vaguely nu-metal inspired riffs, deep grooves, death metal sensibilities and a knack for big hooks. The package has been updated for modern times, though — it doesn’t sound dates. As I Destruct’s single “A Question of Faith” has got me moshing for sure.
The strength of the Australian heavy scene is building. The number of incredible musicians performing and creating is so much that a release as world class as As I Destruct’s From Fear to Oblivion may pass under your radar, which is a damn shame. The boys that hail from Adelaide in SA and have released a monster that has such intensely brutal DevilDriver-esque groove that it will pound your ears into oblivion.
Opening with a gentle piano piece, Prologue, the track lulls you into a false sense of security. The album then lets you know its true intentions in Shattered Hearts, with a fast-paced aural assault that will have your head banging within the first ten seconds. Breakdowns, solos, soft and loud passages, hooky choruses; the track has it all and in spades. It gives you a very good idea of what’s in store for the rest of the twelve tracks on the album. Black Tie Stigmata (my favourite track so far) keeps the serious groove and fast paced powerful sound of As I Destruct, the riffs and drumming are truly crushing.
There are constant dark themes attacked and discussed in the lyrics, such as politics, religion and belief, with the music matching the dark tones punch for punch. A Question of Faith is the chosen single from the album – its instantly catchy riff working together with the rhythmic vocal patterns and bouncy drums make this track a real banger. From Fear to Oblivion does not let up, ever. Vultures of Virtue turns up the speed even more, this track is sure to incite some serious circle-pits for moshers during As I Destruct’s live shows. By the time the listener gets a small reprieve in album close Epilogue which rounds out the record nicely with the haunting piano returning, the album spans a few genres during its playthrough, all of them fast and heavy.
Mixed and mastered by Andy Kite (I Exalt, Universum) and featuring the god-like ability of one Dirk Vanbueren (Soilwork, Megadeth) on drums, the album From Fear to Oblivion is relentless. Now with a solid line-up the five-piece including the exceptional Tony Coota pounding the skins, Luke Dietrich delivering a passioned presence on vocals, Mathew Marotti and Matt Adams melting some faces with their duel guitar attack and Josh Liebelt bringing the down low on bass As I Destruct are tearing stages apart on their album launch tour. If you like your metal fast, groovy and merciless, check out the album, you won’t be disappointed. Also, see As I Destruct live…they crush.
Reviewed by Jonathan Hurley