Enragement – Atrocities Review

It’s slammin’ time! Yes, the often divisive brutal death variant can seem at times difficult to do exceptionally well. The quality versus quantity ratio does seem a tad out of whack, and while I prefer my slam with other intriguing stylistic or compositional elements, it certainly has a bludgeoning, base level appeal when the mood strikes and the execution is on point. Unheralded Finnish act Enragement are hardly a household name, however, the quartet have been bouncing around the underground since forming in 2006 and have two LPs under their belt prior to dropping this third slab of chunkified slammy death, entitled Atrocities. With 2022 well and truly in full swing and death metal releases piling up, do Enragement possess the chops, gut busting slams and songwriting smarts to stand out from the pack?

Right off the bat, Enragement showcase a very modern sounding batch of tunes, playing slick, technically proficient death metal, spiked with slam and deathcore components. Enragement don’t hold back in the aggression or energy stakes, bringing a fuckton of exuberance, thrashy death and cement smashing slam grooves. Despite their low profile, Enragement is a tightly tuned unit, evidenced through the sharp musicianship, solid arrangements, and technical proficiency exhibited. While Enragement are certainly not reinventing the wheel or offering anything especially exciting or groundbreaking, their modern death-slam combo buzzes with papabile energy and satisfying levels of speedy ferocity and brutality. Throw in some mild proggy inclinations and a multi-pronged vocal approach and its a solid mix of ingredients.

Bands jammin’ in the pit of slam can be found out if they are too one dimensional, using the requisite slamming groove as a crutch to mask inferior writing and half baked ideas. Enragement’s writing does not come across as an afterthought. Widdly guitar licks boast a technical edge, rapid fire drumming, and the occasional ear catching bassline shines. “Sadistic Sedition” wipes the stench of another wasteful intro track with a scathing attack of melodic and technically solid brutal death, charged with thrash and blast-fueled speed and aggression. It’s a short, efficient thrust to start the album. Atrocities boasts serious fucking teeth, exemplified on cuts like the grindy, slam riddled beatdown of “Lethal Human Experimentation.” These are vicious early examples of what Enragement are capable of when at their most compelling. Atrocities runs short of puff from time to time, but there is some tidy stuff on display. The technical edge and fairly dynamic arrangements add weight to the album’s decent quality, featuring occasional nods to the likes of Benighted, Disentomb, and Suffocation, albeit in a super polished modern context. “Decimating Winds of Phosphorus” is a finely crafted chunk of brutal slam death featuring a few blackened prog curveballs, “Heavenly Inferno” crushes with its dynamic tempo shifts, atmospheric flashes and guttural heft, while “Trade in Viscera” punches out a brooding plethora of meaty riffs, mid-tempo grooves, and satisfying slams.

While there are intriguing and solid moments scattered throughout Atrocities, various elements combine to challenge the album’s more accomplished and positive traits. Memorability is an aspect requiring consideration. There are certainly a handful of noteworthy tunes that sink their teeth in a little deeper, but little remains to grasp after the album blasts by. Additionally, Enragement lack wow factor and a distinctive identity, despite not coming across as a clear carbon copy of any one act. Meanwhile the production choices are all too familiar for a modern death/slam combo. The loud mastering and bland sonic profile sucks some power and a couple of songs left behind may have tightened the album up more. Nevertheless, while longer term staying power is debatable, in the moment, the album rips with reasonable force, if falling short of the loftier death standards of 2022, or superior slam of the recent Analepsy,

Chalk Enragement’s Atrocities down as a solidly entertaining offering that fails to deliver breakneck thrills, yet offers a respectable display of modern death brutality and battering slam grooves. Within a crowded scene, there is perhaps a shortage of truly gripping or unique material to elevate Enragement beyond shorter term enjoyment and into regular rotation. All being said, however, Atrocities bangs pretty hard and is well suited to sound tracking underground street fights and gym workouts alike.

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Rising Nemesis Records
Websites: enragement.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/Enragement
Releases Worldwide: April 29th, 2022

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