Negative Existence: Enshrouded Perdition

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Negative Existence: Enshrouded Perdition
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Negative Existence: Enshrouded Perdition
Death Metql, Grindcore
Self-release
2011
Release length: 22:37
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Negative Existence has a varied history pending where you happen to look. On some sites you’ll find it is a two-piece Death Metal meets Grindcore group from Phoenix, Arizona. Meanwhile, in the official pressing of their 2011 release, Enshrouded Perdition, the group has simply become a one man project. Either way you look at it, it seems this band formed back in 2005 as a three piece, but only recently issued their debut demo of eight tracks full of raw aggression. But, does this effort put the band’s best foot forward, or is it something a little less engaging?

Enshrouded Perdition definitely carries a heavy raw intensity withn its production. The music doesn’t quite sound as rich and finely polished as bigger recordings go, but it still hits hard where it matters. The guitars have a strong distortion that is toned down a bit lower, and can still pick up on the strings when fingers slide down the neck here and there. The bass guitar is pretty dominant in the mix too with a pulsing presence that bulks things up well. The drums sound great thanks to the tight and somewhat hollow snares against the rich click of the bass kick that ends up slightly in the background. The cymbals are pretty clear, though sound rather mechanical as if through a drum machine. The vocals, however, are a mix of growls at the forefront, and some higher pitched screaming in the background that adds a little more to the overall intensity.

There’s a lot going on within this demo, ranging from traditional Death Metal and Grindcore worship, to pure hatred that could instantly be felt. The first of those is how the recording kicks off though. “Using Fear as a Motivator” finds plenty of complex timing changes against various blistering passages, and somewhat creepy Death Metal bridges. The vocals are as erratic as the shifts in timing, but the chorus is a little less intricate, giving way to a simple, but catchy performance you can just bang your head along to. But, when compared to “Aftermath,” this seems a bit tame. While not all over the place, this track finds a generally lower sound with some chaotic fretwork that works along with the natural and aggressive vocal performance to truly create an intimidating environment that seems to just want to rip your throat out with its own teeth.

But, it’s about this time the demo does start to offer a little more than blastbeats and sudden shifts in timing. “This is Wrong” carries an ominous tone to it that sticks with the title of the song for the sake of atmosphere. The listener is given a sense of uneasiness while holding back on some of the brutality. But, about half way through, the song takes a darker, even cryptic tone that seems like the conclusion of a built up tension to the dark deed that is so wrong. There’s also the grim instrumental “Infernal Emissions,” which sets up a truly nightmarish scene one could associate with a Science Fiction monster flick, or even A Nightmare on Elm Street sense of paranoia that would have made a superb introduction to this demo. Instead, it sets up the closing track “The Unseen Enemy” decently. This one’s just a non-stop Death Metal assault with a good deal of blastbeats throughout. The only time it really seems to change the timing is towards the end when the shouting vocals erupt against what appears to be a brief breakdown. It’s a little out of place, but doesn’t last too long, nor really hurts anything.

Unfortunately, the thing that does hurt some tracks would be the drums. In many songs, the cymbals seem to just cut out for no reason, or just start showing up in different patterns. This is most obvious during some of the blastbeat areas on the longer tracks, especially on “Using Fear as a Motivator” and “Aftermath.” They can also show signs of wear and fatigure to them, sometimes just not hitting quite as hard, or even just missing a snare or cymbal all together, though that one or two notes are hit on the next chorus, or even the one before it. Thankfully, as the demo progresses, these errors seem to correct themselves, making for a stronger conclusion than the somewhat rocky start you’re presented with.

In the end, Enshrouded Perdition isn’t exactly the most awe-inspiring demos out there, but it still hits the listener hard. After a rocky start, the raw aggression of the production gives way to various atmospheres, much of the time coming off as just being fed up and tearing into the listener with the frustrations at hand, if not more. Sometimes the atmospheres shift to a grim tone as well, which is a nice touch that will hopefully be explored on future releases. It’s obvious that Negative Existence still has some growing to do, but for their first demo recording, Enshrouded Perdition is a nice chunk of the underground Death Metal scene that fans of the chaotic, blastbeat driven Death Metal approach should definitely give a chance.

01. Using Fear as a Motivator – 3:55
02. Made of Tears – 2:31
03. Aftermath – 3:14
04. This is Wrong – 2:22
05. Crucified Resurrection – 2:38
06. Preying on the Hopeless – 3:31
07. Infernal Emissions – 1:49
08. The Unseen Enemy – 2:37
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

Negative Existence (band)

Physical review copy of this release provided by Negative Existence.