Review: Gory Blister – The Fifth Fury

Posted: September 2, 2014 in Reviews
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I first became aware of Italian death mob Gory Blister on 2009’s ‘Graveyard of Angels’ record. A band who gain extra kudos points for having a brilliant name, their technical death metal sound is refreshingly reliable for such a style. ‘The Fifth Fury’ is, unsurprisingly, their fifth full length record, and by this point the guys are pretty much set in their groove.

Opening with the solid, if unspectacular ‘Psycho Crave’, Gory Blister combine some juddering tech death riffs with stop start fretboard fireworks. It throws in many different tech death stalwart techniques, which blows the mind early, but leaves you a bit wanting. Second track ‘Thresholds’ is a step up; a raging and precise killing blow. It is a lot more focused, streamlined and direct. There’s less fucking about, and it also contains a great melodic solo and some cool effects. Songs like this make me remember why I enjoyed technical death metal in the first place. ‘Toxamine’ is another scattergun massacre, riffs pulling you in all directions as you try and keep up with some dizzying tempo changes.

Gory Blister are ambitious in their modus operandi here. They’re trying to create an album that is both dazzlingly complex and yet devastatingly brutal. What I like most is the fact that ‘The Fifth Fury’ sounds like ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ filtered through someone like Origin or fellow countrymen Hour of Penance. They don’t try to come off as ultra sleek nor as OLD SKOOL(!), merely a potent combination of both. Adding in unique elements like the ethereal keys at the end of ‘Toxamine’ or the atonal synths at the start of ‘Prometheus Scars’ help them create their own sound. The title track is a particular highlight, with some cool stop start riffing, powered along by a fat bass and drum groove. Another plus point is the melodic and not overindulgent soloing that really helps break up the constant barrage of riffs and double bass. Rarely do you get good solos in death metal, and here is a definite exception.

The album continues at pace, throwing brutal riff after brutal riff after inspired drumming at you. It is a maelstrom of jaw dropping technicality in places, yet reasonably streamlined to avoid the overindulgence that too many death metal bands feel like they have to cram in. What Gory Blister really have going for them is the fact that they sound like Gory Blister and no one else. It’s difficult to carve out a niche for yourself in metal these days, particularly with death metal’s current trend of either sludgy raw or shiny fret wanking. Gory Blister are who they are, and ‘The Fifth Fury’ is what it is, a solid tech death record with something for everyone.

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