Monday, December 24, 2018

Balance of Terror - World Laboratory (Ghastly Music)

Today's offering is the debut record from Balance of Terror - This release is 8 tracks of brutal death metal from the north of France, put out by Ghastly Music.
This came to me packaged up in a professionally done CD - admittedly, it's been a long time since I've actually opened a new CD (I’ve been spoiled by records and cassettes), but this has the look and feel of a very well put together release. Sadly, the global postal system STILL hasn’t figured out how to not break things… Anyway. I really like the art - to me, it seems like it’s a bit more appropriate for a black metal release, but I think that’s probably because of the cold colors that were used; it makes it feel winter-y to me, and my mind automatically goes to black metal. But, the art is very well done, and it does suit this release quite well.

How does it sound? Let’s find out. We open up with an intro that just kicks you right in the face with a slow death metal build up. It’s here that we get to hear the tone of everything before we break into the madness. First of all - this is a REALLY well produced release. The guitars are clear and present, the drums are tight and punchy, the vocals are brutal and right up front, and the bass brings that low end, springy feel to it. After the intro, we break right into a hyper speed blast beat and a nasty technical riff - yup, this is definitely death metal. The mix here stays consistent, and it’s really a pleasure to listen to a well mixed release every once in a while. Past the actual sound of it - how are the songs? Well, for one, they’re long. Most tracks are in the 4 to 5 minute range, and as a grindcore reviewer, this feels like an eternity. There are a LOT of really well put together riffs and transitions here, but for my tastes, I wish they cut out a lot of the filler and just kept the brutal parts. The blasting parts definitely have a grind feel, but after the first few tracks, it’s gotten pretty stale waiting for those parts.

I just want to make it clear here - if you’re a brutal death metal fan, this is a really solid release. It sounds great, and it’s good death metal. But, for my grindcore based tastes, I can really only enjoy a track or two from this release before I get bored. Listening through the whole thing kind of felt like a chore, if we’re being honest, though I started off being really into it.

Rating if you’re a brutal death metal fan: 8.5/10
Rating if you’re more of a grindcore fan: 6/10 Balance of Terror bc Balance of Terror fb
Review by Nick Vecellio