It used to be that if one wanted some cavernous, black-hole of a death metal album, the only real option was Portal. But competition continues to grow stauncher as more and more groups emerge from the depths: Abyssal, Malthusian, Gigan, Ulcerate…and now, Mefitic. From Italy, this is another group ready to put the drill to your brain with a mixture of blackened death, doom, technical, crust, and any other perversion they can get their claws into.
Now, the unfortunate downside to my love for this niche of music is that, at least in text, they all start to sound the same after a few reviews. Sustained, death growls awash in reverb, minor-key rattling played on loose strings, contortion of time signatures: sound familiar? And yet, like the other groups I listed, a listen of your own will reveal the unique qualities of Woes of Mortal Devotion that defy verbal account. Maybe the Germans have a word for it.
Of all of the similar groups, Mefitic is probably closest in aesthetic to ZOM with its frequent punk beats. But even this fails to fully qualify the experience. I can say this: if I were to draw out a spectrum of death metal to black metal, they could easily be the closest to the BM pole. The ruthless tremolo lines are front and center, the centerpiece of most songs. These dark and ominous guitar lines are also the starting point of nearly every major transition (see “Noxious Epiclesis” for several examples). The echoing double-bass and howls are still firmly grounded in death metal territory, but the melodies are about as kvlt as it gets.
All comparisons aside, why should you listen to this? Simple: it’s brutal, it’s consistent, and it’s well-played. Furthermore, the production is sonorous, yet astoundingly clear; like someone put top-notch recording equipment in the cave from The Descent. Finally, my personal favorite, Mefitic walk the line perfectly between technical dissonance and beguiling hooks. There is not a moment of this album I checked out on, and I keep coming back for more. Only $5 on bandcamp. Let it happen.