Death metal and doom are two fouls tastes that have tasted great together for about three decades now, and it’s a union that doesn’t seem to make sense but always does. Doom digs into the guts and drags you over the coals, extending the torture for as long as possible. Death heads for the jugular, tearing you apart and splattering your blood as recklessly as possible. Somehow, they mix so well.
Italian juggernaut Ferum prove that repeatedly on their hulking debut record “Asunder/Erode,” a truly battering document that pummels you from pillar to post. A lot of what is created by the band —vocalist/guitarist Samantha Alessi, bassist Matteo Anzelini, drummer Are Kangus—reminds me a lot of Derketa, one of the most legendary death metal bands of all time, so that immediately made an impression on me and invited them into the darkest parts of the heart. The record explores separation and its other side all the way through to its erosion, and that bloody adventure is splashed all over these eight songs that take you to your limit over and over again.
“Halfhead” trudges and boils in oil, a trait this band does so well, death metal that answers first to doom. Alessi’s growls pummel and scrape, the guitars come to life and bleed lava, and that mauling force slows down even more, adding pressure and ending in heat. “The Undead Truth” features Mike Perun from Cianide, and it opens with drums splattering and the power taking a deliberate bend to the ground. The playing fully crushes, the drums maul, the playing gets oppressively heavy, and the growls lurch into devastating heat and burns off. “Desolate Vantaa” punches through and gets vicious, thrashing hard even amid its deliberate pacing. Guitars heat up as doom rivers flow violently, the soloing gives off some unexpected warmth, and then it gets warped and turns around, bringing everything to a mauling end. “Belong” opens with slithering riffs and a monstrous terror as Alessi’s growls rip into ribcages. The guitars melt as the aftermath glistens, the growls punish, and an atmospheric power brings the song to a chilling finish.
“Monolithic Acquiescence” has funeral bells reverberating and growls slowly lurching into the scene, dragging bodies over dirt. Guitars bubble as ominous colors flood the scene, trudging hard and letting the riffs spindle, brutally bringing slow pressure that squeezes the blood out of your face. “Entrails of Linnahall” is a punisher, serving heavy smashing and stomps your flesh into different forms. Airy guitars give off an atmospheric chill, and then the pace pulls back and turns things darker, the savagery increases, and everything bleeds put into the night. “Resurgence in Bereavement” again simmers in doom, and then the growls open tributaries of blood, plodding with excruciating viciousness. The shrieks devastate, mixing with bellowing growls and a guitar glaze that pierces your vision, slurring in ash and turning toward hell. Closer “Outro – Spesso Il Male Di Vivere Ho Incontrato” is a quick instrumental that crackles and pounds, guitars sit in echo, and chilled speaking rolls down your back, sending strange vibes that leave you frozen in time.
Ferum’s debut “Asunder/Erode” is a powerful glimpse into things falling apart and pulling away into something transformed, and there are so many different ways to look at this from politics to socioeconomics to urban decay. The band’s strangling death metal makes it feel like the world is falling apart, grinding you into clashing parts, leaving you a pool of blood and piss. This record puts you through the grinder, spitting you out on the other end, leaving you to decipher if the future is worth considering.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/ferumdeath
To buy the album, go here: https://www.sound-cave.com/
For more on the label, go here: https://avantgardemusic.com/