Jun 132018


(This is Andy Synn’s review of the recently released new album by the Polish death metal band Deathstorm.)

Let’s be honest about something, shall we? For all that we might claim to love music which is progressive and challenging and which seeks to push the envelope, sometimes we just need to hear something which grabs us by the balls through the virtue of its sheer, unapologetic heaviness alone.

Sometimes, we need a Deathstorm.


photo by Peter Seipke


Not to be confused with the Austrian thrashers of the same name, this particular Deathstorm are a blisteringly brutal Death Metal quartet from Gubin, Poland, and The Unfathomable is their second album, coming a full five years after the release of their debut.

As you might expect, the band adhere quite closely to what some people have dubbed “the Polish sound” – a heavily Morbid Angel-influenced approach to Death Metal which is loaded with ballistic blastbeats, megaton riffs, and vocals which suggest the band’s singer spends his spare time gargling a mix of battery acid and napalm – and fans of the Floridian legends, as well as their deathly disciples in Hate, Behemoth, and Decapitated, will all find a lot to love here.


photo by Peter Seipke


All name-dropping aside, however (and I could just as easily have singled out names like Hate Eternal and Hour of Penance as key reference points for our readers), to call The Unfathomable a derivative album would be to do it a major disservice, as it’s eminently clear that the Deathstorm crew aren’t content simply to ape their influences, they’re actively trying to outdo them.

Of course there wouldn’t even be a Deathstorm if not for the efforts of Azagthoth and his merry band of morbid misfits, as tracks such as blasturbatory opener “Light to Few” and the malevolently groovy title-track (which, over the course of seven stunning minutes, builds towards a truly frantic and utterly ferocious finale) so clearly attest, so it’s not as if the Polish punishers are attempting to position themselves in direct competition with their progenitors.

Rather, it becomes more and more obvious, as the album progresses, that Deathstorm (bassist/vocalist Mysth, guitarists Jędrek and Góral, and drummer Kuba) are well aware of how crowded with clones and copycats their current scene is, and that if they have any chance at all of standing out they need to bring their A game, and bring it hard.

Which, you’ll hopefully be pleased to know, is exactly what they’ve done here.


photo by Peter Seipke


Tracks like “Spirit of Contamination” and “Mystics of Nothingness” are truly a riffmonger’s delight, and the neck-wrecking fretwork spilling out from the hands of the band’s two guitarists is aided and abetted by a drumming performance that’s almost (but not quite) inhuman in nature, and which displays a keen grasp of groove and dynamic, as well as an innate understanding of when to ease back off the gas, and when to bring the hammer down.

As brutishly, belligerently, and bombastically heavy as this album is though, there’s a lot more going on under the hood than just simple combustion. These guys clearly understand that both hooks and atmosphere play an important role in rounding out any album, no matter how extreme, as the moody undercurrents to “Death is Sacred” and the malignant melodies which infuse “Gateway” demonstrate so decisively.

Concluding with the ominous and oppressively intense strains of “Ode”, The Unfathomable proves itself to be one of those rare gems, a real diamond in the rough if you will, that successfully marries outright brutality and infectious listenability without seeming to try too hard to cater to one side of the other.

And, truth be told (and you may want to be sitting down before reading this), the more I listen to it the more I realise how much I actually prefer it to the most recent effort from Azagthoth and co.

So if you consider yourself to be a connoisseur of high-quality, high-intensity Death Metal, then you owe it to yourself to check this one out asap.


photo by Peter Seipke


Editor’s Note: The Unfathomable was released on June 6 and is available on Bandcamp. Only two of the album’s 8 tracks are set for streaming there, but if you choose to purchase a digital download, we can confirm that you’ll get all 8 tracks rather than just the two you can stream.




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