Loudrage: Uglier Than Thou

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Loudrage: Uglier Than Thou
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Loudrage: Uglier Than Thou
Death Metal, Groove Metal
Self-release
January 5th, 2014
Release length: 19:49
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Loudrage is a Romanian Death/Groove Metal act with some real balls as far as their entrance to the Metal world went. The four-piece formed in 2005, and got picked up by their home countries own Pest Records to issue the Live Footage from the Groovy Dracula Romanian Tour 2006 DVD, followed by their 2008 EP Rage Unleashed. Since then they have been without a label, issuing a new demo in 2011 titled Pungent Roots, and most recently their second EP, 2014’s Uglier Than Thou. Touting what I assume an acronym for “Romanian Groovy Death Metal” on the artwork, does this latest independent offering enough to hold your attention?

The deeper distortions and heavy bass guitar do help to make this a moderately dark sounding effort. Sadly, much of the music sounds rather standard for the genre with few tracks that genuinely stand out. “Doomed” carries a strong Sepultura groove that is incredibly infectious, backed by a strong guttural performance that matches the energy found in the technical chords throughout. There is some additional melody towards the end that sets up a well executed breakdown. “SuffoKate” starts off a bit like a typical Brutal Deathcore approach, but the heavy riffs with such fluid execution sounds great against the flatlined but menacing growls that make up part of the main verses. Sometimes the track sounds like Loudrage is being sarcastic towards the bands in the genre, but the song itself is one of the better representations of that style as of late.

The subtle melodic touch to the chorus of “As Long As I Live” helps it stand out a bit. The main verses really rely on the well paced drumming. For the most part, it feels like a watered down Morbid Angel song, similar to something like “God of Emptiness.” Sadly the lack of a commanding presence or anything assertive does prevent it from really being a memorable cut. “Fear Me” is set up about the same but with a little more aggression and richer riffs, especially when the pace picks up prior to the solid breakdown in the last thirty seconds. Thankfully “Intruders” does make up for the lack of an impact on these two. Again we’re back to the Groove heavy Sepultura-esque presence “Doomed” outline, but the addition of background rasps add a little more intensity to the song. The bass guitar shows through a little more as well, making the riffs as infectious as the drums in the chorus and bridge a little more than two minutes in.

Uglier Than Thou isn’t breaking any new ground for the Death and Groove Metal genre, but when Loudrage gets it right, the performances carry a surprising amount of fluidity to them. Sadly, this is about the only thing all that impressive. Most of Uglier Than Thou isn’t that memorable, offering five songs composed of rather standard material that wears its inspirations on its sleeve. One good thing is that most of the material here does sound like it’ll be far more impressive live, so if you live near LuduÅŸ, Romania, Loudrage seems to be a band well worth catching live one day. As for this studio release, it isn’t bad, but probably better a companion piece to an in person experience.

01. Doomed – 3:59
02. As Long As I Live – 4:13
03. Fear Me – 3:53
04. SuffoKate – 4:43
05. Intruders – 3:01
Initial Pressing Score: 6/10

Loudrage
Loudrage

Digital review copy of this release provided by Loudrage.