Finnish death squad Galvanizer twist muscles and maul brains on ‘Prying Sight of Imperception’

People not in the know of heavy metal sometimes chuckle at death metal. It’s kind of a joke to some people who think it’s just Neanderthal shit and strange vocals, but there is so much more to it than that. Easy jokes by dummies aside, there are so many different forms death metal takes now, and there are countless ways in which this music can be played and consumed. It’s hardly caveman shit.

Finnish death squad Galvanizer prove that generously on their new record “Prying Sight of Imperception,” a collection that has brains, brawn, and psychosis as this album is difficult to deduce and hard to decipher fully. The 10 tracks packed into this vicious, perplexing display play tricks with your mind and attempt to make you rethink what you thought was a section of safety you had carved out in your mind. While it’s vile, twisted, and violent, the music on this record also can get into your cell structure and expand your mind as the band— Vocalist/bassist Vili Mäkinen, guitarist/backing vocalist Aleksi Vähämäki, drummer Nico Niemikko—keeps intact some of the tenets we expect but also expands beyond that to something stirring and fun.

“The Sanguine Legacy” is a quick, strange intro cut with weird, warbled voices, and then we’re into “Servants of the Scourge” that rushes out with fluid death and a plastering pace. Growls rustle as cool leads burn brightly, leading to the pace cooling down but remaining just as heavy. Guitars keep crushing, the band applies the pressure, and we’re on to “The Inexorable” that rips things apart as it dawns. Stirring speed and mauling playing unite and instantly put you in danger as the growls corrode and eat through flesh. The tempo gets even gnarlier as the band lands heavy blows before an abrupt end. “Blaze From Within” is a quick one, a tick below two minutes, and it wastes no time speeding heavily and unloading crushing growls. The playing gets thrashy and mean as the vocal spit nails, later shrieks carve, and the track blasts out as fast as it arrived. “Chthonic Profanation” starts with strange noises lurking before things blow up, and mucky death pulls you beneath the surface. The playing rampages savagely as the vocals rip out at a ridiculous clip, the drums and riffs kill, and everything lathers before all the elements disappear into the sky.

“Ground Above” chugs and charges, the growls and shrieks mix and do their damage, and the aura gets even more terrifying as the crunch gets more pronounced. The vocals carve their path as the guitars multiply the fury, and everything ends in outright violence. “Dia De Muertos” explodes with rage as the track gets impossibly fast, smashing faces and defacing psyches along the way. Shrieks peel flesh as the playing tramples whatever is in front of it, leaving everything in a pile of rubble. “The Ever-Crescent” delivers heavy blows as the band opens a massive assault that scrambles brains as blackness oozes from the riffs. Great leads flourish as the melody jolts, then everything is ground into dust. “Grotesque Devotion” starts with a drum massacre that leads to wrenching growls and playing that batters the senses. Thick bass blackens eyes as the track seems to find a new level of hell, shrieks mar, and the track ends in a pile of muck. “Of Flesh Unknown” closes this beast as riffs boil, and the tempo is absolutely smoking. The leads swelter as the playing gets unhinged, thundering hard before strange synth envelopes before the guitars angle strangely. There’s an atmospheric charge that adds air to the classic metal fire that erupts, and then the track seemingly fades into time.

Galvanizer deliver channeled, devastating death metal that spirals into your psyche and refuses to let you feel normalcy ever again. “Prying Sight of Imperception” might be Finnish death metal, but it’s an animal that shares some of their homeland’s metallic tenets yet also lives on a different plane, something a little different than what you might expect. Or, put more simply, Galvanizer delivers death metal that’s mangling and dangerous, art that exists to deliver trauma and never fails in its mission.  

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