Friday, February 24, 2012
Macabra - Blood-Nurtured Nature 
Macabra are unlike other modern death metal bands for two reasons: one, both members reside in different places of the world, forming an international death metal collaboration; and two, they are completely old-school, and in opposition to the sudden onset of Swedeath-worshipping trendy bands flourishing and appealing greatly to the crowds, they don’t sound at all like that. These features allow them both to surpass most death metal that is currently being released and bring to mind a fantastic old-school death metal influence from when the genre was at its finest.
Practically a second after the album commences its journey full of old-school material, you are met with the relieving wave of a very raw production. This tips the odds in their favor greatly, and contrary to what many may now be thinking, the guitars are perfectly audible. The rough, gritty sound only adds to their music and allows them to widen the listener’s appeal to the already innate stellar riffing. Where the album definitely succeeds the most is in the guitars, and these consequentially succeeding in their sheer simplicity and overall catchy and appealing quality. There is an overt old-school death metal influence sprinkled--no, flung in, circa early Death and, even more present, early Autopsy. They have a brand of very simple yet effective riffing that will definitely remind the listener of these bands among many, many others that focused on a slightly more sloppy and raw style of death metal. The tempos are always kept at a steady, relatively slow, mid-paced speed, the riffs chugging along and the drums following behind somewhat hastily.
The riffs are usually very sludgy, droney, and often also doomy, all of which are characteristics that will, as previously stated, remind listeners of early Autopsy. Songs like “Hominal Peel Diggers (The Swarm of Necrobies)” and “Life is the Symptom (Thy Entrails Rot)” show this in their intros; the former soon lapsing into a very catchy death/thrash riff. The vocals alternate between both low growls and high gutturals. Typically use of low growls is more prominent, but the latter will sneak in on occasion. The drumming is similar to the guitars, i.e. also slow and humble; however, more intermittently, a blast beat will present itself (as will some decent double-bass work), such as at 1:16 in “Hominal Peel Diggers.” Alongside the drums in this particular part, the riff is that of a tremolo-picked one, also an uplifting quality on this album; yet these being less predominant throughout the length of the album. There is practically no use of melodies, which is definitely a good thing in this case. There is some use of eerie passages, yet not that much, and they are not the main focus nor the best trait of this record.
If you’re looking for some new old-school death metal (pardon the oxymoron), you need look no further than Macabra. With “Blood-Nurtured Nature,” they’ve successfully established themselves as one of the better death metal bands that are currently releasing new material. This album prevails from the fact that their music is so raw, so dirty, so undeniably old-school and incredibly simple yet magnificent that the listener will be greatly pleased and satisfied until the last song finally subsides; unfortunately ending the album and leaving one with a craving for more.