Death brawlers Street Tombs hit with vile force as they drag you down alleys on ‘Reclusive Decay’

Photo by by Caitlyn Stuart

I’ve never been in a wild street brawl before. Come to think of it, I’ve never been in a brawl before, so maybe what I’m about to say is bullshit since I have no experience. OK, so have you ever heard music before that made of feel like you were getting curb stomped while a bunch of crazed lunatic are throwing punches and kicking people in the teeth? If not, let’s change that.

Nex Mexico-based death metal squad Street Tombs make it feel like you have a mouthful of cinders and blood on their devastating debut record “Reclusive Decay,” a six-track beast that’s a hassle with which to contend. Combining heavy doses of death with streaks of punk and D-beat carnage, the band—guitarist/vocalist Damian Jacoby, guitarist/vocalist David McMaster, bassist Galen Baudhuin, drummer Ben Brodsky—creates a rocky, tumultuous journey that’s one of those ones that doesn’t last a terribly long time but will leave you feeling like you sustained a never-ending beating that shaved chunks off your sanity. This is a wrecking machine with a bloodthirst.

“Wretched Remains” charges in right away, punishing as the growls curdle, and the darkness gets even heavier. The soloing soars and then things get back to gutting, guitars light up, the playing mashes, and the heat boils over. “Diseased Existence” brings guitars winding up and the elements storming as the growls sink into your flesh. A haze hangs over as the chugging gets more intense, and an evil-sounding tone infects the guitars and stomps through the cement, the final moments fading into B movie-style synth. “Devour” thrashes with brutality as the growls crush, and delirious melodies make your balance take a hit. The shadows grow thicker as the guitars give off heat and then mystify, ending the track in a hypnotic fog.

“Rising Torment” lays waste from the start as fiery guitars scorch flesh, and the growls deface as the playing goes into immersive blackness. Speed kicks in and smashes with precision, raw growls make the blood rush to the surface, and a disarming synth haze devours everything. “Commanding Voices of the Damned” pummels with raspy growls and a captivating death race taking form, meaty savagery becoming the most volatile element. The power stretches as feedback hangs, causing disorientation and a dissociative state. Closer “Volcanic Siege” snarls and tangles as the growls punch holes, and nasty sentiments enter the air. The pace charges as the guitars kick harder, bringing on a tornadic intensity that balances with catchy melodies and vicious growls, ending in a pile of ash.

The music on “Reclusive Decay” leaves a film on your face and in your mouth, a gritty, ashen mix that doesn’t taste great and feels like the back end of an alley fight. Street Tombs appear to have little interest in making things look and sound pretty, which is perfect for this six-track barnstormer that has very little of your well-being as an interest. This is brutal, scathing stuff that leaves bruising and bloodied clothing behind, with you left to pick up what’s left of your physical and mental health.

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