DEATHWINDS – Endless Wastelands EP (2014) — CS REVIEW

IMG_1548Savage and fatal, an act resurrecting iron-scoured bones from sunken death metal trenches. Deathwinds’ Endless Wastelands is a striking but brief glimpse into a new maelstrom seeping out of Vancouver.

With only three tracks on this EP curated by Vault of Dried Bones Endless Wastelands invades the minds of those who encounter it with a debilitating vision of war. Unbearably heavy, thoroughly satisfying and hideous. A caustic bestial scourge to beware of.

This may have hit bandcamp on the last day of 2013 but it’s official cassette release through the meticulous clutches of Toronto’s Vault of Dried Bones came April this year.  I’ve been giving it a lot of attention since then and enjoying it tremendously.

IMG_1552 copyA three piece reconstructed from Radioactive Vomit, Deathwinds chisels further malice from their psche with a new lust for old-school havoc. Compared to their expressions as Radioactive Vomit, which is where the influences surrounding Black Witchery  and crust/d-beat impact head-on, Deathwinds is markedly different.

This significantly sterner death metal was recorded with the help of V.K. (Vassafor, Sinistrous Diabolus, ex-Diocletian) so one can imagine before diving in where this could reach. While not as stifling as those first few influences the result is torturous, incredibly satisfying turmoil that touches the likes of Archgoat or Conqueror, reigned in a notch with a transfusion of Heresiarch.

Its an EP that does so much right in the realm of bestial or war metal while resisting tired redundancies, writing notable passages with tight musicianship from all corners. Whether the passion and remarkable writing will be sustained on a full length remains to be seen. What is clear is Endless Wastelands is a tight expression of death worthy of adding to the collection.

Coated in filth and decay the riffs chug maliciously into battle on each song, extending the horror one more level along the way. Well crafted in each throttling rhythm, and every murky tremolo sharpened to a hungry edge, while the percussion buries all cries in a hail of violence.

On the opener “Black Tombs’ Spirit” the doom is suffocating from the get go, whirling thick fumes from the lumbering riffs that break into further deformities — each one more sinister. Each section like chunks of fallow earth sloughing off onto the dead and dieing, especially the thunderous middle here. And those vocals become fierce towards the end, more on that in a moment.

By the time the kicker, “Death Rule”, slices through with that immediate threatening tremolo riff it’s obvious these guys have seized some mercurial death thread, unwilling to relent their grasp as they are pulled into the void. And in this track you get you’re wrenched in with them.

As the EP dives deeper the vocals become prominent, in face by the end of “Black Tombs’ Spirit” they’re corroding stench becomes undeniable. The grotesque rasps choke out iniquitous chants, further netting your mind with a captivating tone. It’s a reeled-in approach compared to their other project, less shrieks and livid laughs; he’s strong in the atmosphere without a doubt. Dusty, raw with a punch, mingling well with the cloudy riffs and drumming, enhancing their might.

“Death Rule” is flattening considerably on that front. It stands out strongly through the tight writing in every twist. A virulent, chunky, filth-ridden riff barrage that feels sincerely heinous, whose impact is wholly destructive and memorable. From the opening blast and shredding tremolo right to the slower, crushing plumes that rise noxiously before the last push into darkness bringing us back to the vicious opening maul.

The blistering finisher “Massacred In Black” doesn’t let up either, showing Deathwinds’ penchant for shorter, more venomous raids. Blacker and rougher than the rest by miles it gallops hungrily into a desolate atmosphere as if racing to a deadly peak.

IMG_1560Limited to 100 copies, this EP’s pressing is stark and desolate much like the landscape after the final track recedes. From the cover art of strung up dark corpses within the post-raid haze, to the unembelished j-card baring a cryptic passage, to the flat-black pro-cassette shell emblazoned with the Vault Cult curse and band logo on one side alone; it’s all appropriately sterile and bleak.

Vault of Dried Bones did a great job as always on this release. Go support total death.

You shouldn’t turn this down. Powerful, filthy death metal with seriously addictive riffs and a genuine presence. An EP that for me is taking priority over a lot of other releases in death metal this year (at least until that new Adversarial material is out). I hope the future work through Deathwinds makes good on the promising horrors Endless Wastelands harnessed this year.

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