American progressive death metallers Pile of Priests (what an incredible band name) have released their first full length record ‘Void to Enlightenment’, a swirling vortex of terror, brutality and vintage 90s progressive moments. Be afraid, and make your body ready, for this is a wild ride.
Opener ‘Void to Enlightenment’ is a exercise in pure brutality, with spiralling guitar leads, guttural growls and some simply awesome sections. The progressive streak appears again and again in this record, in the jagged start to the epic ‘Deranged Youth Succession’ or throughout the complexities of ‘Maleficent’. Pile of Priests’ work would fit in right at home with such 90s death prog masters like Pestilence or Atheist. Each song is linked by impressive song writing, and an approach that marries the adventurous spirit of 90s progressive death and the crushing brutality of modern extremity.
‘Torture Chamber’ sounds like a lost cut from ‘Testimony of the Ancients’, while the rampant ‘Tribulation’ is a hard hitting, face breaking number with plenty of killer riffs. Pile of Priests have got their songs down with such a high level of quality you’d be forgiven for the surprise of being a debut. It is adventurous, technical and rarely less than brilliant. People looking for something a little more staightforward may struggle to deal with some of the twists and turns, but if prog death is your thing, then you owe it to yourself to check out ‘Void to Enlightenment’.