Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Review: Pallor Mortis - The Art of Terror

Pallor Mortis obtained their start in Montreal in 2010 and wasted no time getting their name out into the local scene. By 2011 they'd released a self-titled four-track EP that received high acclaim in the underground and soon they found themselves sharing the stage with a number of well known groups such as Skeletonwitch. A full-length release from Pallor Mortis was highly lusted after, and now the band have delivered unto drooling moshers The Art of Terror.

Genre: Death Metal
Label: Self-released/independent
Release Date: April 4th, 2014
  1. Teneabrerum
  2. Vengeance Basks in Vestiges of the Past
  3. To Sever; The Art of Terror
  4. As Man Beheld Its Scorching Ruins
  5. Fretum
  6. Gorged Flesh Adorned Their Shores
  7. Crimson Blade of Assyria
  8. The Chthonian Pyre of Salem
  9. Incendium
Total Playtime: 28 minutes, 43 seconds





Rating: 9.5/10




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Pallor Mortis obtained their start in Montreal in 2010 and wasted no time getting their name out into the local scene. By 2011 they'd released a self-titled four-track EP that received high acclaim in the underground and soon they found themselves sharing the stage with a number of well known groups such as Skeletonwitch. A full-length release from Pallor Mortis was highly lusted after, and now the band have delivered unto drooling moshers The Art of Terror.

The album itself is adorned with a horrific renaissance style art piece that alone makes the flesh crawl, if only you could see the creepier back layout you would find your repulsion skyrocketing. Opening with a mood setting cinematic styled track, The Art of Terror thereafter spews into a toxic montage of murderous brute force that drips with acidic properties which will leave themselves permanently etched into the mind. The material has a slight technicality in it's composure writing, in that there are rests that are briefly incorporated and once the instruments land on a grounding structure they progress to the next in the never ending series of changes that make up the short duration of the album; though sometimes they come back in a verse-chorus-verse frame, such as in "To Sever; The Art of Terror". Despite the short length of the material, it still finds time to allow for moments of atmosphere, as in "Fretum" which is an entirely water-logged synthetic track and both the opener "Tenaebererum" and closer "Incendium" are of the same accord.

When I witnessed Pallor Mortis live Jessica Simard was the bass player, since that wondrous live event at Il Motor with Skeletonwitch she has now taken over guitar duty. She alone is in charge of audibly creating the most memorable foundations of the content, and with a darkly twisted distortion at her side she pulls off tons of fleeting, well placed tremolos, palm-muted rhythms and abnormally designed chord structures to create an ordnance of fermented, evil arias. The guitar makes it's fury well known, most notably in "Vengeance Basks in Vestiges of the Past", "To Sever; The Art of Terror", "Gorged Flesh Adorned Their Shores" and "The Chthonian Pyre of Salem", the latter having the only solo of the content and some forceful, eerie bridges. Following the ascensions and descents of the guitar rhythms, namely in "Gorged Flesh Adorned Their Shores", are the vocals. More often than not, the vocals are layered to display aggressively carnal growls that lower into crushing gutturals at times, and even verge on the boarder of pig squeals obsessionally, such as in "To Sever; The Art of Terror". The second set of vocals that take the backseat are of a grindcore meets black metal flavor, complete with raspy growls and higher octaves.


The drums follow along in the background with an army of accentual hi-hats and double bass kicks, though due to how far back they're mixed this is the only instrument that doesn't make a huge impact on the listener until some sort of focus is drawn to them, as in "Vengeance Basks in Vestiges of the Past" and "The Chthonian Pyre of Salem". While all of the instruments and their skill sets are outstanding, what really makes The Art of Terror incredible are the deplorable compositions and refined song writing; this is where the technicality to the music comes in. The compositions allow for extremely fleeting still segments of the guitar, drums and vocals to allow the woody bass to display it's quick, skillful lines, the best example being "As Man Beheld Its Scorching Ruins".

A fierce debut entry from one of the strongest death metal bands in Montreal, Pallor Mortis have defined themselves with a multitude of characteristics in The Art of Terror, which as a truly horrifying experience to say the least. Each track has something to offer, and the slight technical compositions go a long way in producing uniquely recognizable riffs and vocals; both which create an instantly noticed infrastructure once the tracks begin. Not without it's flaws, the material could stand to add a slight reverb to the drums or push them slightly higher in the mixing to have them stand out more, although this drawback is minor and doesn't hinder the immense enjoyment that this content has to offer. One of the best of 2014 this far, be sure to check out this release as soon as possible and for a drop in the bucket of $4.99 USD on their Bandcamp, hopefully it'll be sooner than later.

Physical Copy Provided by: Silver Wings Studios

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