Church Of Disgust – Unworldly Summoning (2014)

Texas’ Church Of Disgust seem uncertain of the direction they want to pursue on debut Unworldy Summoning. The ponderous low end allies this album with the Incantoclone camp but the music here is of a brighter variety, choosing wider intervals between notes than standard chromatic progressions beloved of bands of that ilk. Slow, plodding sections are littered throughout, not serving any tangible purpose except to pad up song lengths, much like recent Nile material. Dramatic drops in tempo rarely help within the context of death metal and much less so over the course of a four-minute song, the change in moods being too drastic to be accommodated over such a restricted palette. Infester and  Autopsy are notable exceptions to the rule but even the latter’s best album (Acts Of The Unspeakable) wisely eschewed the happy rhythms of the first two for a generally darker, deeper sound.

Church Of Disgust often employ the tactic of introducing an idea with power chords originating in the higher register before lurching back and forth in their descent towards the tonic. These are then immediately followed by tremolo-picked sequences on the root of each preceding chord; the doom parts themselves being fairly interchangeable and uninspiring, this tight coupling of slow and fast sets up for predictable periods of monotony. The rhythm section is confused between a more visceral American sound and the bouncing, punkish gallop favored by Swedish death metal. Strains of melody stumble into songs occasionally along with palm muted thrash strums, only further highlighting the lack of uniformity of vision. The band obviously feel an urge to doff their hats to their chief influences, a noble intention at that, but a distracting one all the same. There is little that is memorable or invigorating about Unworldly Summoning, lost as it is without a sense of identity in the wake of old bands.

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