Distillator - Summoning The Malicious review



Reviewer:
6.4

9 users:
6.11
Band: Distillator
Album: Summoning The Malicious
Release date: May 2017


01. Blinded By Chauvinism
02. Mechanized Existence
03. Estates Of The Realm
04. Summoning The Malicious
05. Enter The Void
06. Algorithmic Citizenship
07. Stature Of Liberty
08. The King Of Kings
09. Megalomania


Thrash power trios don't come along very often, unless you count the four-piece bands that utterly disregard their bassists (which is most of them). Distillator is a rare band whose members seem to be in perfect harmony; Summoning The Malicious is one of the best-mixed albums I've heard from the modern thrash movement, and there is something truly energizing about being able to hear all the instruments working in tandem. Guitar is still king, but Frankie Suim's bass playing is often the most interesting thing on this album, and Distillator were smart to make it audible.

The technical acumen that follows Distillator from their instruments to the soundboard unfortunately does not extend to songwriting. The opening track's savage open immediately tells us two things about Summoning The Malicious. First, from the speed, precision, and striking tone of the guitar, it's clear that the album is well-executed; the performances are disciplined, clean, and in-sync. Second, the album has nothing in particular to say. As soon as the riff takes its first turn, it telegraphs the stockpile of generic passages to come. Some inspired guitar work crops up now and again, particularly in "Enter The Void" and "Stature Of Liberty," and any time the bass breaks away from following the main riff we get treated to a rare form of melody-making, but as with a lot of bands of Distillator's type, the songwriting hasn't caught up to the tempo.

Distillator has a strong sound already, but Laurens Hovast's voice hides behind a constant shroud of reverb that doesn't fit the sharp, well-defined sound the rest of the band puts forth. Drowning the shouted vocals in reverb does put us in mind of the thrash of 30 years ago, which is clearly what Distillator is all about, but those reverbed-to-hell vocals don't work for a clean-cut and professionally recorded album like Summoning The Malicious. For a ramshackle first outing from a novice Slayer or the raw, off-the-streets production of early Exodus, sure, reverb it up, man. Especially if you need to disguise how terrible your frontman's voice is, reverb is not only diegetic but an integral part of your sound for you and all your lo-fi, trailblazing buddies in 1985. I'm not saying reverb is an obsolete device that should be abandoned, but it has a specific context in which it works, and Distillator does not play that kind of thrash.

Distillator comprises three talented musical personalities who play in such an unusually beneficial balance that I can't help but be entertained, even though I probably won't find myself humming any of these songs next week. I'd listen to this album if I wanted to have a good thrash while also doing something more important that required my attention, like writing a review. Distillator functions as a band exceedingly well; all it needs is material to match.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 3
Production: 9


 



Written on 02.05.2017 by Reviewing since 2010. Reviewing competently since 2013. More metal than you since before the dawn of 'istry.


Comments

Comments: 4   Visited by: 101 users
03.05.2017 - 01:02
Bad English
Masterchief
3 men band later can not deliver so much variations of composition, like Sodom, rage, Detsruction... musscaly they are boring, later, but good , this band tries back 80's thrash back
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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03.05.2017 - 17:44
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
I don't even like thrash all that much and find 90% of the retro movement utterly boring and redundant, but as long as we're talking about thrash power trios, Toxic Holocaust > this any day
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
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03.05.2017 - 19:39
Malignar
Uh oh, when the bass is the most interesting instrument on much of a thrash album...it can't be very good. I agree that the slightly less dull bass work is indeed more interesting than the guitar riffs. Very controlled/restrained and dry for thrash. No thanks.
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08.05.2017 - 14:43
nikarg
doktor avalanche
I agree with the review. Reverb is wrong for this album.
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