Delaware death squad Scorched unload pair of mauling demos in advance of incoming new album

Like most kids my age, I spent a lot of my teen years watching old horror movies that I’d find at my local video stores. I went through the essentials such as the “Friday the 13th,” “Halloween,” and “Nightmare on Elm Street” series, but I always found extra joy in the weird hidden gems on the shelf that looked like they were made for $100. A plus was the weird, synthy soundtracks that accompanied them and made what I was seeing feel that much spookier.

That chilling ambiance is what makes Delaware-based death mongers Scorched so fun for me. Not only do they splatter you with horrific tales and guttural death metal, but they surround them with quick interludes of frosty keyboards that makes the hair on your arms rise with fear. Their second full-length effort is due out later this year on 20 Buck Spin, but in the meantime, the label is refreshing two of their shorter works into “Excavation for Evisceration,” a single vinyl and digital display to give anyone new to the party an advance taste of the sickness. These 11 tracks and nearly 27 minutes of punishment are culled from their 2015 self-titled demo and their 2017 “Hymns From the Cellar” demo, and it packs these like-minded slabs into one convenient killing spree. The band—vocalist Matt Kapa, guitarists Steve Fuchs and Federico Dimarco (he just joined this year and didn’t play on these releases), bassist Andrew Benenati, and drummer Matt Izzi—pack their sound with smothering, driving death on tracks that don’t waste time getting to the point and leave you bruised and bleeding.

Side A kicks off with the “Hymns” demo, as “Enter the Cellar” greets you with noise and weird synth transmissions rising before we’re headlong into “Existence Dissolved.” Keys also drip in at first before burly death riffs crush souls, and the gurgling growls from Kapa pack more pain. The playing is grim and hammering before soloing catches fire and takes the song home. “Gruesome Procedure” is another interlude designed to turn your bloodstream into ice crystals, pushing you into “Altar of Desecration,” where riffs tangle and cut off your air supply. The pace is crunchy, and the growls are menacing, as we push into thrash and gloomy doom territory. Weird moans spill, as the track bleeds out.

The second side contains the self-titled 2015 demo and starts with “Emerging Decay” that lets the gates creak open toward “Fevered Souls” and its punishing leads and destructive power. The guitars ignite into utter fury, while shrieks and growls mix, the band smashes your bones, and wild howls spiral out in horror. “Caverns of Catharsis” blisters and chugs, as the growls bubble and flesh is ground in the gears. The track gets thrashy as hell, while the soloing explodes and brings the song to an abrupt end. “Tools of Murder” ensconces you in a synth fog and crawls toward “Fields of Famine” that grinds out its chaos slowly. The tempo then kicks into gear and mashes feelings, as the band punches in doors and unloads a mangling back end. “Fire Burial” is the final bizarre interlude before the final track “Scorched,” another in a long line of great tunes named after the band itself. Seething screams and meaty playing set the stage, while the whole thing splatters blood. Muddy growls face off with buzzing moans, spreading pestilence until the whole thing blows away.

If you’re heading to Migration Fest this summer, you’ll get a chance to see these guys on a larger stage, where they surely are going to bring some the tracks from “Excavation for Evisceration.” The band’s nasty, gnarly sound should please anyone who wants their death metal rotting and disease infested. This and what was on their 2016 debut full-length “Echoes of Dismemberment” should provide excellent hints at the annihilation that awaits us later this year.

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