Prolonging the Pain

rating icon 6 / 10

Track listing:

01. Thrown to the Wolves
02. Purveyors of Torment
03. The Innermost
04. Victims of Hate
05. Realisation
06. The Global Straightjacket
07. Surreal Reality
08. Prolonging the Pain
09. Barney
10. Blinders

The name kind of rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? It sure as hell fits the firestorm of traditional, U.S.-style death metal played by the Brisbane brawlers. While there is no lack of inferno-level blazing happening on "Prolonging the Pain" a sizeable chunk of the material rates on the lower side of the memory retention scale.

The big "however" is that "Prolonging the Pain" offers just enough to keep it from falling face first into forgettable mediocrity. Even though a rather flat recording hurts clarity and tends to muffle the otherwise lethal hammer blows, "Prolonging the Pain" delivers some serious violence that recalls acts like MALEVOLENT CREATION and early DEICIDE. Shades of the PYREXIA/INTERNAL BLEEDING side of NYDM are also apparent and for one reason or another ABOMINANT came to mind at one point. Few would be concerned with those kinds of reference points. Maybe that's all due to the "80 years of pure death metal experience" from members of TRANSFER and MISERY, as noted on the Obsidian Records site. There is no question that openers "Thrown to the Wolves" and "Purveyors of Torment" set a tone that is two parts body-bludgeon and one part face-melt. But there isn't a lot in the way of cerebral imprinting going on here either. It is not until "Surreal Reality" — a lacerating (sorry, but it's true),up tempo murderer — where attention is grabbed with full force and the listener's mouth forms the word "goddamn." It is not like that's the only song worth the time investment by any means, but it certainly leaves the biggest crater.

If the question pertains to whether fans of no-frills, old school based death metal will enjoy "Prolonging the Pain", then allow me to answer in the affirmative. It is a satisfyingly savage experience, but the potential for lasting appeal isn't quite there. That puts it at moderate risk of getting lost in the great death metal shuffle. "Prolonging the Pain" is a decent album…and that's about it.

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