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La Muerte

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Album Review

Gorefest's crowd-conquering reunion at the 2004 Dynamo Festival opened the doors for this comeback LP, where they attempt to make up for a six-year absence by tapping into their well-regarded grindcore and death metal legacy. Heck, even La Muerte's artwork recalls those classic Carcass and Napalm Death albums from the early '90s. Anyway, lucky for Gorefest that straight-up death metal was in such a stagnant condition in the mid-2000s that there's virtually no way La Muerte can fail, and its impressive opening tandem — the stately slow power chords and violent speed runs which alternate throughout "For the Masses," and the chugging, Entombed-like "rott & roll" of "When the Dead Walk the Earth" — seem to promise that an absolute tour de force is at hand. But it doesn't quite turn out that way — although, at their best, standout tracks like "You Could Make Me Kill," the joyously brutish "Malicious Intent," and the rather amusing "Exorcism" (hear those cries of "I need an exorcism!") still trump most of the current competition with their mostly inspired collection of riffs and the often stark contrasts between Jan-Chris de Koeyer's crusty growling and Frank Haarthoorn and Boudewijn Bonebakker's melodic guitar leads. The music starts losing its distinctive impact about halfway through due to a few too many sub-Entombed poundings, but both "Rogue State" and the epic title track provide multifaceted examples of tension-building death metal the likes of which were rarely heard in the mid-2000s. Ultimately, all of the above may not be enough to announce a brave new day for either Gorefest or death metal in general, but it should more than justify the band's resurrection in their fans' eyes, at least.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

The leaders of Holland's death metal scene, Gorefest built a substantial underground following over the course of the '90s with a powerful, groove-based sound that often paralleled similar innovations by bands like Entombed and Sepultura. Founded by vocalist/bassist Jan-Chris De Koeyer and guitarist Frank Harthoorn in 1989, Gorefest issued their debut album Mindloss in 1991, with a drummer and second guitarist known only as Mark and Alex, respectively. Dissatisfied with the band's level of musicianship,...
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La Muerte, Gorefest
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