Ottawa’s Accursed Spawn formed with one purpose in mind, to transform raw aggression into music, mixing a blend of Old School and modern elements across the Extreme Metal genres particularly, modern Death Metal, Thrash and Brutal Death, into an exciting, in your face blend of Death Metal. “The Virulent Host” is the culmination of nine years of skill and style honing and follows a collection of small releases that mark this journey, as a debut full length it delivers as something really quite impressive.
Guitarist Adam Pell comments ‘We want to offer an intense, yet rewarding listening experience for both musicians and non-musicians alike. Fast, dexterous playing coupled with subtly melodic compositions that can be enjoyed by both the trained and untrained ear’ and it certainly delivers on that remit. It’s a technically impressive offering, the guitar work is blisteringly good, thrashy leads and technical riffs which attack in bursts and the (fretless) bass lines have that wonderful round bounce to them which adds so much depth to the sound along with a full on and well varied drum battery that this kind of aural assault requires. In total it’s an impressively full, varied, and fresh sound, and we haven’t even reached the vocal department yet which delivers a harsh, rasping growl with good clarity to the lyrical content.
“The Virulent Host” is a nine track forty-one minute offering that opens with “Bhopal 84” and sets the pace mood and style of what to expect, a brutal song about the world’s worst industrial accident, where over thirty years later the ground water is still toxic, the tracks brutality reflects the disaster perfectly.
The pounding riffs of “Bloodforged” carve out a delightful brute of a track that also has a subtle groove and a second half tempo and direction shift to keep things interesting. A modern edge, rapid fire riffing and thrashy leads dominate ‘Interrogated Bludgeonment’ alongside some great contrasting groovy chunks.
Title track “The Virulent Host” is a galloping assault on the senses with more closing thrashy lead work. Probably my favourite track of the release, although it’s a close call, with the well named “Cesium 137“, named after the radioactive isotope, and has content to match. It’s just as high energy as its namesake but safer to be in close proximity to, I love the addictive repeat riff and intense delivery, it’s a track that switches around insanely with a powerfully emotive element that rears its head amongst the brutality with insane thrashy leads and sublime fretless bass work coming to the fore at the close.
“The Ageless Curse” is a pounding onslaught with hints of emerging groovy bass work.
“Shotgun Facelift” rampages like, and is heavier than a stampeding rhino, with second half insane leads and technical riffery, and a superbly protracted acidic vocal roar to close. “Mass Glossectomy” is intense, technical and very fresh and modern with off kilter riffing, groovy bass lines and soaring leads, a track that is fascinatingly all over the place, and “Dogmatic Affliction” is an intensely technical and frenetic closer.
The release also boasts the input of audio engineer Chris Donaldson, the guitarist for legendary Death Metal dudes Cryptopsy, thereby gold stamping it with a seal of brutality. “The Virulent Host’” is out now on PRC Music with distribution via MVD / PLANETWORKS worldwide and should appeal to fans of bands like Cannibal Corpse, Decapitated, Suffocation, Beyond Creation, Obscura, Dying Fetus, and Quo Vadis.
Rating – 4/5
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