Analepsy’s Atrocities from Beyond: Review

There are times when I want to listen to the heaviest metal possible — not stoner heavy, or funereal heavy, but pummelin’ heavy. Luckily for me, there’s a subgenre for that: death metal. But some days call for more than a good pummelin’. Some days call for bone-crushing heavy, and for that there’s brutal death metal. And when nothing but Xenomorph-bursting-out-of-my-chest heavy will do, I turn to slamming brutal death metal of the sort provided by Analepsy’s Atrocities from Beyond.

Musically, Atrocities from Beyond plays like V — if the visitors had just decided to carpet-bomb instead of harvesting humanity for food. The guitars chug relentlessly, with intermittent squeals. The drums keep pace with a steady barrage on skins and simple but engaging phrases on ride. The vocals are guttural, just shy of what’ll turn my stomach. The bass is unnoticeable and occasional booms apply accents. But if all that sounds messy, it isn’t. The production is clean, making Atrocities from Beyond one well-oiled and mean mothership.

Which isn’t far from the album’s concept. The album begins with a prophecy of destruction (“Apocalyptic Premonition”), followed by the arrival of extradimensional beings through a hole in the sky (“Rifts to Abhorrence”), who suck the life from everything on the planet (“The Vermin Devourer”), leaving only a few survivors to escape between worlds (“Witnesses of Extinction”), who end up eating each other because there’s no food (“Ferocious Aftermath”), placing ancient unholy entities in charge of creation (“Engorged Absorption”), but one refugee drifts in an existential quandary through space (“Eons in Vacuum”), eventually becoming a depraved despot (“Atrocity Deeds”), before an outro (“Omen of Return”) suggests the whole horrific cycle will repeat.

The sound is tight like the brutal death of groups such as Aborted and Suffocation, but its themes are closer to those of Cthulhuian death drudgers like Sulphur Aeon. The main difference is that Analepsy’s ancient ones come through a rift in the sky rather than from watery deeps. Howard Pyle Lovecraft, however, would offer no objection. Cthulhu may be a Great Old One slumbering beneath the waves, but other Lovecraftian horrors have come from beyond, such as the Elder Things from outer space, and the Outer God known as Azathoth, whose influence extends from another dimension:

“…that amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity — the boundless daemon sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time and space amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes.” –H.P. Lovecraft, “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath”

Analepsy’s Atrocities from Beyond summons exactly this kind of horror lyrically and musically — albeit it with a science-fiction bent — and it does it in a compact blast running approximately thirty minutes. It impressed me on first listen and I immediately knew I wanted to write about it. It’s gripping from start to finish and thoroughly satisfying with just the right kind of heavy.

If we are to believe our metal maestros — to say nothing of an authority such as Lovecraft — then there will come a day when you drag yourself out of bed, dump coffee down your throat, and stumble out the door, shoes untied or skirt askew, dreading another day slaving to glut your corporate master, to find that a many-tentacled thing is blotting out the sun, reaching out to seize the world and devour it with a resounding crunch. When that day comes, pop in your earbuds, press play on Atrocities from Beyond, and set out with an extra spring in your step, happily assured that you won’t have to suffer much longer.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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