Friday, October 30, 2015

Surtur - Descendant of Time

I've been following the Bangladeshi scene rather closely the last few months after hearing some awesome material from Nafarmaan and Eternal Armageddon. The talent in the Dhaka scene is easy to overlook; the country can't export anything physical, cultural barriers are in place by way of language and contacts, and a lack of western interest in the nation by metal media outlets too busy watching powerhouse factories like Sweden, Germany, and the USA provide little networking opportunities. In the case of Surtur, their new EP/Demo Descendant of Time is a prime example of what kind of quality can be found in these isolated niches. While several influences are apparent, most notably for me is the similarity to Heathen's Victims of Deception. It's not far off to also invoke Voivod or Kreator as well.

There is still some work to be done with Surtur; all three songs carry baggage when it comes to the compositions. Even so, generally, a lot of strong unique riffs are ordered to give the impression that the band is thoughtful about the flow and movement of tracks. Title track, "Descendant of Time" is a good example of this, as the track falls into some extraneous riffs mid-way through that take up time but add little to the track at hand. "Demolisher," seemingly the 'single' with a live video circulating on youtube and a very straight forward arrangement of the typical three-minute thrash track, is the most complete track. The blistering last third of the track following a segment of off-beat syncopated riffing presents the most memorable combination of riffs on the release. Also, the main solo in "Maggot Filled Brain," should reap some raised eyebrows simply due to execution.

The production is also enjoyable. Clearly this is not polished and pristine. There is a fiery guitar tone which emphasizes details within the riffs while retaining a "live" feel. The drums are another example of the strong production. The drums sound very natural and absorbent. The material is presented with energy and urgency - a common trait of Bangladeshi metal that I've heard - in a way that a lot of the bands of the party-thrash ilk simply can't match. This is a worthy demo for thrash fans.

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