The Pacific Northwest slaps the collective underground with another wet blanket of unholy death metal courtesy of the mystical Portland duo.
If you've been paying any attention to the underground metal scene as of late, you'll know which scenes and sounds are white hot. Denver has been churning out massive quantities of incredible bands from differing styles of the metal spectrum. Denmark's death metal scene has made a very respectable name in the last decade or so. The Bay Area has also birthed an insane array of young and hungry bands. But it's only been within the last 6-7 years that anything from the Pacific Northwest has also made a huge mark. The area has music hardwired into it's populace. JIMI HENDRIX came from Seattle, THE MELVINS gave birth to sludge and grunge there, BELL WITCH emerged from that area as well. With all of this being said however, no band from the PNW sounds quite like TRIUMVIR FOUL.
Formed in Portland, Oregon, TRIUMVIR FOUL came to be by the duo of Ad Infinitum and Cedentibus on guitar/bass/vocals and drums respectively. With names and a concept like that, you'd automatically assume that the band don't traffic in LAMB OF GOD worship. No, this band go for the truly malevolent and more mystical stylings of death metal with hints of black metal.
The band caught the attention of many with the release of their 2014 demo An Oath of Blood and Fire. It was circulated heavily amongst those who truly understood the power of the sound that TF were laying down and one year later, the duo released their self titled debut through Blood Harvest Records. The album had a chaotic aura and deafening sound that recalled some of the darkest corners of the AUTOPSY discography along with two bands from across the pond: Spain's TEITANBLOOD and Finland's SWALLOWED. Both of those bands have a very unhinged quality with their brand of death metal but whereas SWALLOWED lean more towards death doom, TEITANBLOOD and TRIUMVIR FOUL lean more towards the blackened elements of death metal's dank caverns. The group followed the self titled with another triumphant and horrendous affair entitled Spiritual Bloodshed, which yet again turned the attention of metalheads to the PNW. The album came from a seemingly darker and much more ominous place than the previous one, but it got the job done nonetheless.
Two years since Spiritual Bloodshed and TRIUMVIR FOUL have now returned with their mini LP Urine of Abomination. Now from the title, I knew that this affair would be just as disgusting and vile as their previous output. When I saw that the release would be a four part, 16 minute release, I had a feeling that this would be a cool step forward. What I didn't expect was the immediate wall of harsh noise one would come to expect from an artist like MERZBOW. It was something that I honestly did not see coming and boy was it like getting my face sandpapered after being out in the sun all day. It was raw and it hurt like hell. But it was annoying for the sake of being harsh, the noise fits in as a perfect stop gap between each part of the "song" as it languishes from one movement into the next. It almost gave me echoes of FULL OF HELL's last collaboration with THE BODY, but much more influenced by the sounds of black metal ala BLUE HUMMINGBIRD ON THE LEFT with the heft of Seven Chalices era TEITANBLOOD.
Ad Infinitum sounds just as nasty and unholy as he has on previous records but yet slightly more confident on Urine of Abomination. There is an air of urgency that permeates through the album, that assuredly lends itself to the increased abilities of it's vocal performer. Cedentibus doesn't hold back either. The propulsive explosion of drumming keeps Urine of Abomination from getting sterile and lost up it's own river of filth. The kit was recorded in such a way that each tom fill and cymbal crash feels as if it is taking place right inside your ear canal. You can't stop enjoying the madness.
In what seems like a golden age for newer death metal bands, TRIUMVIR FOUL put together a quick and to the point EP that doesn't linger about getting some sightseeing in. It gets in, cuts your throat, and buries you promptly. It's a composition that will definitely not get lost in the shuffle with many other fantastic bands releasing albums this year. TRIUMVIR FOUL didn't need to make a grand shit show, they just had to piss on our graves and laugh. With Urine of Abomination, they've done just that in harsh and unrelenting fashion.
Overall score: 8.5/10
FFO: Teitanblood, Swallowed, Autopsy, Serum Dreg and Musmahhu