"Insect Politics"

By Dr. Abner Mality

I can't imagine there are many places in Salt Lake City for DEATHBLOW to play, unless there's a Mormon Mosh Temple I don't know about. Regardless of their point of origin, they've come up with an odd little album in "Insect Politics". It's a disc that's a bit old school thrash, a bit early death metal and a considerable dose of weird. It kind of harkens back to the early days of death metal before that genre became bogged down into rigid templates. I kind of racked my brain to think of who DEATHBLOW reminded me of and then it finally came to me. This band has got a sizable flavor of DECEASED to it. Something about Holger the Horrible's vocal delivery reminds me of King Fowley's pipes and the way the music here kind of lurches from riff to riff, style to style, is also reminiscent of DECEASED's manic approach, although not as precise and controlled.

This is the kind of album that sneaks up on you. I thought it started kind of rough around the edges and not all that,  but halfway through I had to admit tracks like "Convert or Die!" and "Through The Eye of Delusion" soaked in to me. I get hints of early SLAYER and EXODUS, but mixed with other influences and presented in an unorthodox way. "Agent Zero" (which incidentally was the name of a popular local funk metal band) is the purest thrasher on show, with some twin harmony guitar to boot. Final track "Behind Closed Doors" lets rip with some vintage guitar shred.

It's not gonna be an album I come back to time and time again, but with a little effort, you can find some hidden depths in "Insect Politics" and it's heavy and weird enough to satisfy.