Formed in St. Louis, Missouri in 2017, Summoning the Lich have been blasting their way through the death metal scene for the last three years, their hard work resulting in debut album and a no-nonsense slab of brutal deathcore, United In Chaos (Prosthetic Records).
Backed by the relentless rhythm section of bassist John Flynn and drummer TJ Chilton, guitarist Ryan Felps delivers a barrage of savage riffs while frontman David Bruno employs almost every style of harsh vocal in existence. From mid-range roars to high-pitched screeching and deep, low end mouth belches, his style may not be to everyone’s taste but it’s certainly never boring.
Leaping straight at your face with appropriately titled opener ‘The Nightmare Begins’, the record attacks with a frenzy of screams, roars and slashing guitars, rarely slowing down throughout the twelve tracks on display. Jagged, slicing riffs are offset by a sinister groove on ‘Cult of Ophidian’ while the crawling menace of ‘The Gatekeeper’ is augmented by whirlwinds of pure aggression.
‘Demon of the Snow’ is a blizzard of flailing limbs while ‘Predatory Reflection’ and ‘Acid Reign’ (the latter probably not a sneaky nod to the British thrashers of the same name) are two more examples of barely controlled chaos. After a deceptively quiet intro the title track swiftly builds into another electric wall of sound and fury but is soon matched by ‘Descend’ and ‘Hymns (Of the Witches of the West)’, the latter cut often bearing a passing resemblance to Virginian thrashers Lamb of God. There’s no slacking off with the final three tracks either as ‘Death Crystal’ races towards the finish line like its life depends on it, while the tension of ‘Temple of the Bone’ builds to an atmospheric close before ‘The Lure of the Necromancer’ ends proceedings with another onslaught of jerky, epilepsy inducing riffs.
Although occasionally rather one-dimensional and featuring a sequence of violent but fairly interchangeable riffs, United in Chaos is still worth checking out if you wish to inflict some serious damage onto your neck and air-drumming fingers. The breakdowns, time changes and slower moments of blackened melody keep the interest levels high throughout the otherwise uncompromising explosion of sonic carnage.
Buy the album here: www.summoningthelich.com
7 / 10