Review: “Death Is But A Door” by Alluvial

After an instrumental debut album “The Deep Longing for Annihilation” was released back in 2017 it didn’t feel like there would be much more on the horizon from Alluvial but as it turns out guitarist Wes Hauch had other ideas. A musician known for his roles in Black Crown Initiate and The Faceless as well has playing live with Devin Townsend and Thy Art Is Murder, he’s long been a someone who deserves a lot of respect so when in 2021 he announced a new line up and another full length in “Sarcoma“, he had our attention. Three years on and the band continues its journey of catharsis, dealing with topics such as darkness, corruption, depression and substance abuse as vocalist Kevin Muller (Suffocation, The Merciless Concept, Pyrexia) vents his spleen over a sonic range from Progressive Death Metal to Deathcore and even DJent…

…former Entheos bassist Tim Walker and drummer Zach Dean make up the rest of the line up for “Death Is But A Door“, a title which is intriguing to say the least. Opening cut “Bog Dweller” captures the attention like the sound of a shotgun blast with a classic Death Metal riff and a flamboyant solo to over which Muller spits pure fire. Delivered at the tempo of the damned, the track raises the hairs on the back of the neck as a call the mosh pit, Hauch not afraid to mix it up and bring in some Deathcore orientated riffs to give the track a satisfying crunch. After a tune to that decimates the weak and thins the herd with its destructive power and technical prowess, “Fogbelt” then rears its ugly head with a menacing and sinister churn, the dark and brooding atmospherics giving it a real edge and wow factor. The sonic equivalent of a beast rising from the black depths of the Mariana trench to destroy cities with consummate ease, this is one to savour before an Industrial tinged introduction brings in the brutal “Area Code“. A Death Groove laden affair with slick tempo shifts, this one is another slab of polished concrete to the skull and a demonstration of just how much fun Death Metal can be. It’s not technical for the sake of it when it doesn’t need to be, staccato riff breaks and a spellbinding solo winning over anyone who dared doubt the abilities of these musicians. Clean vocals in Death Metal always raises an eyebrow but on “Death Is But A Door” they are tastefully done to enhance a melancholic tune, interwoven with the uncleans to project a pair of voices. There are moments in which you may find yourself shoegazing in this one with the weight and gravity of the lyrical narrative but the break outs into the heavier parts that fade out is ultimately what makes it special. All in all this is one that bodes well for the next full length from Alluvial without being a stop gap because these four tunes are nothing short of grade A material [9/10]

Track Listing

  1. Bog Dweller
  2. Fogbelt
  3. Area Code
  4. Death Is But A Door

Death Is But A Door” by Alluvial was released on 12th January 2024 via Nuclear Blast and is available over at bandcamp.

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