Altar / Cartilage


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Nowadays this split LP can be considered as a true classic of old school death metal, but one which is rare and very hard to find. But its musical content says everything about it – we deal here with two great traditional death metal bands. First is the Swedish Altar, who slaughters the listener with five new tracks (plus two of the demo on a CD version). The band performs classic death metal, which takes much of the credit from some British bands (early Paradie Lost), but I have an impression some of these riffs are slightly more melodic when comparing them to the demo, and thus this way Altar has more similarities to bands like early Amorphis, Excruciate and Dismember (just listen to “Lifeless Passion” – this is traditional Swedish death metal song!). But the opening song “Nothing Human” is just fast neck-breaker, with really uncompromising opening part. Surprisingly the slower motif has some keyboard parts, which give quite a horror / creepy result. “Lifeless Passion” and “A Message From the Grave” are infectiously melodic, with those “The Karelian Isthmus” like riffs that stick in your head instantly, but the second of these songs is much faster than rest of “Ex Oblivione”, while the first of these two reminds me also some old Polish bands like Hazael, Armagedon and Betrayer. I’m surprised to hear the short piano part in the mid part of this track, but from the other hand it fits it well.

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