Old school death metallers Repulsive Vision hail from my local spot, Cumbria, and ‘Look Past the Gore and See the Art’ is their debut full length. The album title feels like a statement of intent; imploring you to embrace the music before the aesthetics; remarkably important yet overlooked sentiments these days. They’ve been gigging hard around the UK for years, so it is at last we get to hear how they’ve honed their output.
After the obligatory, sample laden intro (Introplosion), first song proper ‘Repulsive Vision’ hits you with fearsome Floridian death metal straight away. It’s delightfully old school in its grinding riffs and that thrashy sensibility. ‘Premature Burial’ is equally intense, with vocalist Dan McEwen’s Blythe-esque rasp particularly on point. ‘Look Past the Gore…’ has energy in abundance, bringing frantic brutality to the fore in every song. There’s dashes of Obituary, of first record Death, of classic Massacre, and it’s all good stuff, especially in the virulently infectious ‘Corpse Decay’.
There’s not a lot here over the three and a half minute mark, which tells you something about the way Repulsive Vision operate. It’s old school as fuck; there’s nothing flashy and technical, nor overly progressive or winding. What you’re experiencing is straight for the jugular simplicity that is missing in a lot of modern death metal. It also pulses with LIFE, an organic breathing beast of flaming riffs like the flailing ‘Fragmentary’. It isn’t soulless, but imbued with a reality, an alive-ness.
If this is what we can expect from Repulsive Vision for years to come, then sign me up. A freshly rotting corpse of vintage death metal, strung up for all to worship. Awesome stuff.