Exit Wounds was a welcome surprise for anyone who previously loved the Haunted, but thought that Versus was the definition of mediocrity, and that Unseen was a steaming pile of dogshit (which = everyone but JaPaBo). With the return of Marco Aro, the boys from Gothenburg have brought back their patented brand of thrashodeath (or is that deathothrash?), served up just as you like it: short, punchy, brutal, and to the point. Tracks like Cutting Teeth, Trend Killer, and Time (Will Not Heal) are instant hits, and the album shows them hewing to their strong points throughout. Unfortunately, this one probably got a bit overshadowed by the At the Gates reunion album in terms of attention.
On Promulgation of the Fall, Greece's Dead Congregation do for death metal what Tom's Restaurant used to do for Arse's chicken gyro platter: make it nice! While you will not hear anything revolutionary on this album, you will also hear nothing extraneous —- this is genuine, no-hyphens-necessary death metal done about as well as humanly (though in the case of the drummer, that adverb may not actually be accurate) possible. The first time I listened to this, I was on a plane and thought, let me check out one tune from these guys to see what Arse is getting me into. Before I knew it, I had listened to the whole thing because I just couldn't turn the damn thing off! In a genre where making it through an entire album in one sitting can at times feel like an endurance test, Promulgation of the Fall is nothing but a pleasure. While this is some brutal shit, it is done with finesse and precision. By the time you get to the abrupt end of album closer From a Wretched Womb, Dead Congregation will be asking, "so you like-a the juice, eh?" Oh yes, the juice is good.
While these are both really solid albums, Exit Wounds has a familiarity that Dead Congregation avoid with Promulgation. They've executed their death metal duties with such perfection that they pull out the win!
Tomorrow, JaPaBo makes the difficult decision of decreeing who's better: At The Gates or BABYMETAL?