Oxygen Destroyer – Sinister Monstrosities Spawned by the Unfathomable Ignorance of Humankind Review

In the past, I’ve mentioned a local festival that I had the pleasure of attending back in the fall of 2019. Not only did I get to see Bewitcher and Witch Vomit (some bands I’d recently reviewed) at Eliminator Fest, I also discovered Greyhawk, one of the most awesome and fun traditional metal bands on the planet. If that wasn’t enough, the night closed with the legendary Morbid Saint absolutely demolishing the crowd that occupied Seattle’s historic El Corazon that night. They played Spectrum of Death front to back, and although I’d listened to that 32-minute lesson in speed and hostility many times before, seeing it done live gave me a whole new appreciation for it. Little did I know that if I’d been there on the festival’s first night, I would have gotten to see Seattle’s answer to Morbid Saint’s death/thrash assault in the form of Oxygen Destroyer. Well, life is full of missed opportunities, but I’ve since learned from my mistakes, making myself familiar with the band’s crushing debut, Bestial Manifestations of Malevolence and Death, and calling dibs on follow-up Sinister Monstrosities Spawned by the Unfathomable Ignorance of Humankind.

Oxygen Destroyer is devoted to spreading the terrible gospel of the Kaiju — giant monsters who lay waste to cities, and often, each other — and their music matches that mission perfectly. Blending death metal and thrash metal in their many forms, the band paints with a varied influence palette, ranging from the deathened thrash of Morbid Saint, to the thrashened death of Morbid Angel, to the groovy violence of Demolition Hammer. Monstrous samples, often from classic monster films, litter the band’s albums, as evidenced by the intro to embedded single “Slaughtering the Guardian Monsters.” The track serves as an example of what you’re going to find on the rest of Sinister Monstrosities: churning riffs dotted by infectious grooves, chaotic soloing, and the venomous vocals of Lord Kaiju himself. The latter give the band a blackened edge, ensuring that they have most of their extreme metal bases covered.

Sinister Monstrosities emerges from the ocean without fanfare or warning, unleashing its destruction upon the listener for a mere 29 minutes before it recedes beneath the surface as quickly as it came. And if you’re like me, that’s when you’ll press play and ask to be destroyed all over again. While many bands fill short albums with non-stop speed and aggression — a choice that often results in the entire record blurring together — Oxygen Destroyer use their samples and rhythm changes effectively, allowing each track to stand on its own. “The Plague Spreading Horror from 20,000 Fathoms” may be two-minutes long, but it moves from a twisted Morbid Angel riff to a punky groove and back with ease. “Sons of the Necrobeast” is three hoots-and-a-half of malevolent thrash with some of Lord Kaiju’s most pissed-off vocals — I’ve even caught myself randomly screeching the song’s title a few times, causing my wife, kids, and coworkers to question my sanity. The album closes with the six-minute “Seasons in the Abyss”-ian epic, “Their Reign Has Begun.” It’s one of the best songs here and demonstrates that the band’s songwriting and riffcraft can be just as effective on longer compositions.

The first thing I noticed about Sinister Monstrosities after listening to the debut was the change in production. Bestial Manifestations had a huge, thick, in-your-face sound, but this time around, the band has opted for a classic old-school vibe that sounds like it came straight off of a late 80’s/early 90’s death metal classic — and it sounds awesome. After two successful records, Lord Kaiju has proven that he’s a formidable metal frontman, and he and fellow guitarist Joey Walker have crafted some incredible riffs and solos. At 29 minutes, you can afford to listen to the whole album, but if you must have highlights, I’d point you in the direction of “Slaughtering the Guardian Monsters,” “Sons of the Necrobeast,” “The Plague Spreading Horror from 20,000 Fathoms,” “As Big as a Battleship,” and “Their Reign Has Begun.”

At eight tracks and 29 minutes, this record will kick your ass before you’re done reading its title. Sinister Monstrosities is a worthy successor to — and step up from — Bestial Manifestations and should cement Oxygen Destroyer as a prominent name on the Kaiju’s Who list of the modern death/thrash scene.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 12 | Format Reviewed: 192 kbps mp3
Label: Redefining Darkness Records
Websites: oxygen-destroyer.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/kaijuconjuringdeathmetal
Releases Worldwide: August 27th, 2021

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