Perilaxe Occlusion ‒ Raytraces of Death Review

You know what’s fun? FUN.

Sure, there’s a time and place for the kind of uber dark, bog-crawling, inhuman metal ov death that is popular with the cavemanliest corners of the metal crowd. That same crowd being the ones drawn to every black and white, over-contrasted band pic taken in a mossy cemetery with everyone’s hair hiding their faces and fists clinched because they’re trying so hard to hold in that smelly squeaker that would obviously kill the Very Serious Mood. Yes, there is a time and place for that stuff, and a lot of it is great.

But isn’t it also nice when you can have your swamp cake and eat it too? Isn’t it grand when a band can provide all of the aesthetic but still sound like they enjoy playing this awesome, glorious thing we call death metal?

Release date: June 25, 2021. Label: Debemur Morti Productions, Epidemia Records, and Blood Harvest.
Of course it is. This is precisely what Ontario’s Perilaxe Occlusion is up to in their extremely brief career. They formed just last year and are about to release their second demo, Raytraces of Death, which, as you can see from the title of this review, is the subject of this review. According to Metal-Archives, their lyrical themes include 3D modeling, rendering techniques, computers, and death (the title of the demo basically hits on all of those), so there’s already a sense that these two fellers are in it for a good, nerdy time, but they’re deathly serious where it counts: everywhere else.

Perilaxe Occlusion pulls from a lot of the most cherished of early European death metal, sometimes coming off like an updated version of Abhorrence and at others a bit more Swedish (there’s even a touch of the Sunlight Studios sound in the guitars), like a version of Edge of Sanity that crawled out of the Everglades.

No matter the approach, they always play it big. The instrument tones are massive and fat (this might be a “demo,” but the production is pro); the cavernous vocals are monstrous and expansive; the sassy, swingin’ balls lines are downright commodious in their swagger; the slow, molasses-lurch passages are capacious; the blasting and speed-picking sections brimming with voluminous intensity; the drumming bombast is bountiful; the pinch squeals and divebombs chock-full of charisma and personality; the heft is, well, hefty; and the whole dang 22 minutes are nothing short of jumbo. Even the song lengths ‒ none shorter than 6:30 ‒ are larger than usual, but the band has no problem filling the time with constantly engaging material.

So even if parts of these three tunes hint at the swampy, mausoleum-filth side of death metal, the duo’s undeniable personality helps keep it all massive, infectious, and again, fun. Fun is fun, so is great death metal. Go ahead, have both.

Posted by Zach Duvall

Last Rites Co-Owner; Senior Editor; Obnoxious overuser of baseball metaphors.

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