I don’t know about you, but I’m genetically predisposed towards some kind of Pavlovian response when faced with a death metal band called Extremity flaunting an album entitled Extremely Fucking Dead. And, frankly, if a package like that doesn’t pique your interests, then you, sir, are a swine and a cad, and no friend of mine. Composed of current and ex members of acts as diverse as Agalloch, VholVastum and Repulsion, this debut acts as a retrospective of old school death metal riffing. By now you all know our credo on super groups, but thanks to Extremity‘s composite experience, instead of attempting to re-forge the classics, which, at this point is surely tantamount to throwing lipstick on a pig, the band opted to lovingly swaddle their influences and be satisfied to bask in that legacy with as much exuberance as possible.

Despite the cover art and creepy horror sample of the intro track (Pet Cemetery), which both had me prepped for some serious None So Vile worship, Extremity actually play a heady combination of blunt Swedish death with the overt memorability of the early Floridian scene. Guitarist and frontman, Shelby Lermo, alternates his vocal style between gruesome lows and, purposefully I suspect, a Schuldiner-esque retch. He also maintains his Vastum guitar habits, keeping his tone positively drenched in reverb. “Crepuscular Crescendo” grinds in and out of an ungodly collection of riffs, cycling between the rudimentary bludgeoning of Severed Survival Autopsy and the comparative precision of Leprosy era Death. Drummer extraordinaire, Aesop Dekker, as vorpal and meticulous as ever, steers each track with as much restraint as abandon, so when his style flits between effortless blasting and kinetic d-beating, it’s never without warrant.

Not since Beneath the Remains have I heard such a resolute will to shoehorn as many great guitar lines as possible into each song; as such Extremely Fucking Dead is never afraid to change its attack pattern mid-track. “Bestial Destiny,” which spends the majority of its short life proudly plundering the Bolt Thrower war-chest, abruptly changes at the halfway point with a gothic bridge, slathered with skin-crawling tremolos. If there is one thing that Extremity doesn’t shy away from, its the wealth of songwriting experience coursing through its piecemeal veins. There is doubtless no originality in the design of the material, but the effortless quality of the execution chokes out the potential revivalist tag threatening to stick in the craw. The expertly wrought and exceptionally titled “Chalice of Pus” spends just over 6 minutes juggling abrasive blasting, Swedish engineered riffage and passages of sombre doom – if nothing else, it raises a goblet (of gore) to all your favorite death metal tropes and unintentionally outstrips the majority of those legacy bands’ current efforts.

If there was one complaint I could fairly level at this rotten platter, it’s this: where’s the fucking rest of it?! Extremity‘s debut is, in fact, a mini LP, its dark flame sputtering out at a meager six tracks, with one being the intro… Call me greedy, call me impatient, but after the insanely catchy and delightfully oxymoronic “Fatal Immortality,” only the title track remains, and having partaken of the Zombie’s drug, one finds oneself wanting more… Even the production beckons, with Lermo and second guitarist, Marissa Martinez-Hoadley’s grimy strings at the front of the mix, trading depraved riffing and trilling solos.

Extremely Fucking Dead is extremely fucking good and caters, unashamedly and exclusively, to us atavistic gore hounds. If your concept of death metal lies in the pro-tools studio wizardry of every guitar tech’s wet dream, the you will doubtless miss the point Extremity are so irrepressibly hammering home. If you miss the days when even the heaviest music was more hook laden than it had any business being, then this is the record for you, full of bile, belligerence and mystery musical secretions. Extremely Fucking Dead is a sloppy love letter to death gone by and wears its telltale heart still beating on its sleeve. If you don’t listen to this and find yourself skipping down whatever sunny road you live on, singing loud and proud for all to hear the refrain of the title track, then shame on you. Shame. On. You.


Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: 20 Buck Spin
Websites: facebook.com/extremedeath
Releases Worldwide: April 7th, 2017

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