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Creeping Death - Wretched Illusions | Album Review

There’s nothing creeping about the Texan death metal pact Creeping Death. After all, the action of creeping suggests a level of quiet slyness, the polar opposite of what Creeping Death embody. Forming in 2015, the American death metal ravagers have resonated a sense of crushing brutality with their previously released craft, with their take on musical violence being simplistic yet still devastatingly effective. Much like a clawhammer to the bridge of the nose. Fast, savage and rememberable.

In truth, it’s a sentiment the group have only doubled down on with their forthcoming debut long play Wretched Illusions. However, if their EP’s and singles so far have been quick and mindless assaults of sonic bloodshed, Wretched Illusions is more precise and surgical whilst still being relentlessly savage.

With track titles such as ‘Ripping Through Flesh’, ‘Bloodlust Captivity’ and ‘World Decay’, it would be easy for those ignorant to the group’s name to disregard the release as just another slab of stagnant death metal mediocrity. However, gore stained treasures await those to take the plunge into Wretched Illusions, spoils that which manifest almost immediately.

The respective album opener ‘Ripping Through Flesh’ immediately confirms the nature of this record, with it’s guttural, chainsaw like guitar tones marring against Reese Alavi’s primordial howls and focused war chants. As the record tears though the likes of the screaming guitar solos within ‘Captivity’ and the grinding butchery that is the lead single ‘Bloodlust Captivity’ it becomes crystal that this is record that not only worships death metal at it’s most visceral, but provides it in a fashion most authentically brutal.

Whilst the majority of the record adheres to the rapid tempo associated with the fore founders and trendsetters of the death metal genre, there are brief moments where Wretched Illusions brings the breakneck speed to a sparking crawl. As demonstrated on the hardcore tinged rager that is ‘Corroded From Within’, these moments showcase Creeping Death’s appreciation for the sadism that’s associated with the underworld realm of beatdown and hardcore, with the track being engineered to cause mayhem most violent live.

Bludgeoning as opposed to being lacerating, whilst these fleeting moments of savagery don’t entertain the urbanite aesthetic that’s synonymous with these genres, they ultimately bring the hallowed nature of this record into the spotlight. The condemned and hellish atmosphere of the record only becomes prominent, harrowing and inescapable, with Creeping Death borrowing hues from hardcore to intensify the crimson death metal aura that Wretched Illusions basks in.

Wretched Illusions, much like the trendsetting records that have have inevitably influenced Creeping Death, is very much a crossover record between hardcore and death metal but with greater emphasis being placed on all things nightmarish and grim. Despite this unequal balance this is very much a record that’s going to be beloved by followers of all things barbaric and ceaselessly heavy. Whist there numerous points in the record that interweave into one other in a bloody haze of restless violence, the album as a whole feels somewhat faintly nostalgic in fashion, with Wretched Illusions enjoying thoughts of pioneering artists such as Grave and Possessed. However, the record brings such themes in the modern day, ensuring the record remains poignantly modern at all times.

In all, Creeping Death don’t necessarily add anything to new to the blend that is hardcore tinged death metal with Wretched Illusions, but they are not obliged to. Instead, they take every value of the genre they approach and dial the extremity and aggression to intimidating levels to ensure their take on the genre never feels outdated or tame. If you’re after a new take on metallic extremity this record may not appease your satisfaction but If you like your music filthy, relentless and for the lack of a better term, well ‘ard, this release is certainly for you.

Score: 7/10

Wretched Illusions is released September 27th via eOne Music

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