Thursday, August 1, 2013

Gethsemane - "S/T"

Gethsemane’s brand of black metal is not unlike that of Amputator or Revenge in that it seethes chaos, dismantling the listener through noise-laden guitars backed by relentless blastbeats and suffering, subdued vocals. The demo begins ominously enough with picked strings and static before setting off on a destructive path that doesn’t yield until it’s over. And while the all-out assault approach certainly works in Gethsemane’s favor, I’d argue that it’s also the demo’s biggest drawback. Amidst the swirling violence I find myself periodically uninterested, the music no longer the focal point of my attention as much as background noise. The moments wherein Gethsemane restrain the tempo, however, are my favorite parts of the demo as it showcases something more than just cacophony, which, to clarify, I’m all for when it’s done well.

 When they slow down, they generate a necrotic atmosphere that slows the blade they otherwise wield maniacally, luring the listener into a false reprieve that soon gives way to pandemonium, tried and true. Overall, I’d certainly recommend giving Gethsemane a listen as they have all the elements necessary to create something truly rewarding. You can also purchase their tape directly from the band through their Bandcamp page should you enjoy what you hear.

Review contributed by Julio Espin

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