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Snorlax - The Necrotrophic Abyss review

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Band: Snorlax
Album: The Necrotrophic Abyss
Release date: June 2023

01. Reawaken
02. The Repudiation Ov Disharmony
03. Fortification
04. Book Ov Serpents
05. Eternal Decrepitude
06. The Necrotrophic Abyss
07. Regenesis Arrival
08. The Bastard Seed Ov Terraformation

OK Pokémon fans, admit it, the first thing that comes to your mind when you're listening to a bit of blackened death metal is the character Snorlax lazing in The Necrotrophic Abyss, am I right?

Snorlax is an Australian one-man blackened death metal project formed by Brendan Auld back in 2017. Having established himself in various roles beforehand, such as guitarist for hardcore/death metal band Descent, as well as guitarist for sludge metal band Resin Tomb, and drummer for black metal band Daedric Armour, Brendan Auld now turns his expertise towards his latest, and most ambitious venture yet, Snorlax. Here, the multi-instrumentalist presents his project's first full-length release titled The Necrotrophic Abyss to us, in the style of blackened death; what does this release have to offer?

Well, it's short, clocking in at only twenty-eight minutes in length, with a total of eight tracks, mostly being around the three-minute mark or less (aside from the two songs, "Eternal Decrepitude", and "The Bastard Seed Of Terraformation", being around five minutes). Now, maybe it's just me being stereotypical, but I would have found this particularly odd band name more fitting for a stoner, doom, or even psychedelic rock band perhaps? But then, as we all should know by now, band and album titles can certainly be deceiving.

Aside from the odd choice in band name (which I've found actually derives from the Swedish term for 'snot salmon', as well as being the name of a relatively strange Pokémon character), the band actually has a general no-nonsense, brutal kind of approach, and is essentially a death metal offering with strong blackened elements. One thing that is evidently clear, though, is the dissonant approach, which is opposed to anything remotely melodic. This is a style that I can best describe as a mash-up between Behemoth and Deathspell Omega, two bands I have always personally found typically challenging to get into.

From the opening track "Reawakened", you are met by such an unrelenting, forceful energy, through furious pounding blast-beats, and strikingly manic tremolo picking, with a variety of harsh aggressive vocals that vary from death growls to blackened shrieks. The opening track pretty much sets the unforgiving tempo and flow in motion that the album runs on, which rarely lets off any steam. There are several moments in which the musician uses some crazy experimentation, such as the structurally bonkers "Regenesis Arrival". Although this is definitely a short track, it's particularly memorable for its odd dissonant sound and structure, and although I'm not really sure whether I like the track all that much, I certainly admire the ambitious and creative efforts he put into it. The real standout for me, however, is the final track "The Bastard Seed Of Terraformation", which is essentially the most blackened of all, and also darkly atmospheric, particularly towards the end.

Overall, if you want a literal take on what this album is truly about, then I recommend you take a second of your time, and focus your eyes on that terrific cover-art whilst delving your poor soul into to this outrageous music. The demonically evil being set at the centre of that hellish backdrop, that's engulfed in an explosion of vibrant colour, is a perfectly chilling setting to match the album's true dissonant blackened death nature. Snorlax may indeed be a sleepy, lazy, sloth-like Pokémon, but the music, believe me, is far from that.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Production: 7

Written on 03.07.2023 by Feel free to share your views.

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