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A Pretext To Human Suffering - Rotting Sanctum: Review

A Pretext to Human Suffering are a fairly new project made up of old hands in extreme and death metal. Comprising of an international line up of Chris Mathis (Defleshed and Gutted), on guitars and vocals, as well as music writing duties, Lord Marco (Rings of Saturn, ex-Braindrill) behind the drums, Wes Van Hook (Sold Soul) on guitar, Beto Vipe (Devour the Unborn) also on guitar, and last but not least Spencer Atkinson (Cryptic Enslavement) on the bass.

The band's debut EP on RealityFade Records, Rotting Sanctum is a five-track journey of utter devastation, sewn together using treacle thick bass lines, ear-splitting drums, technical guitars, and downright terrifying growls. Pretext's (as I'll refer to them) sound is lodged firmly between brutal death metal, tech death, and slam, extracting all the finer points of each discipline and meshing them together with the sole purpose of creating the heaviest most unsettling yet thoroughly enjoyable music.

From the first notes of the intimidating title track that opens the record you know, this is going to hit hard, the vocal depth achieved by Mathis has to be heard to be believed and appreciated along with the complexity of the drums in the hands of Lord Marco. This isn't to mention the underpinning, almost jazz-like bass lines and perfectly layered guitar work, that both duels and compliments one another. All this and it's only the first track.

Track two, Chain Of Command Oppression harbors the ability to be able to get enough of the most skeptical heads bopping with it's intro before we are plunged once again into the deranged depths of the band's range. It's a formula that remains throughout, each track has it's own unique properties and brings something different to the table, be it a slam based track or just brutality in the purest form, there is even some chug sprinkled in, as heard briefly on Humanity's Final Cleanse. Fans of Rings of Saturn, Oceano, Thy Art is Murder, Blood Incantation or Ingested are sure to get one hell of a kick out of this emerging band.

How all this will translate to the live stage is, of course, yet to be really seen but in the hands of such capable and experienced band members, I'm sure the live versions of all these tracks will hit just as hard as their studio counterparts.

Rating: 8/10

Find out more at the band's official site or check out their bandcamp and YouTube