CD Review: “Immortal” by ALTERBEAST

The album is tight, fast and overwhelming.


Review by David Feltman

Sacramento metalmaticians ALTERBEAST’s debut album earns the band’s all-caps moniker with an animalistic cyclone of an introduction. More than just a clever (and suggestively nerdy) name, ALTERBEAST jerks the spotlight away from the recent flood of black metal mash-up bands and brings technical death metal back to the forefront.

The band utilizes both cookie monster and pig squeal vocals for a high-low dynamic that perfectly complements the melodic noodling, spitfire shredding and blistering rhythms of its music. Everything about Immortal is simultaneously whiplash fast and crushingly heavy, like an unholy marriage between a bloodthirsty cheetah and a rampaging hippo. It’s a technical marvel that never fails to impress.

The album is tight, fast and overwhelming, with its sparse eight tracks clocking in at just under 30 minutes. This is the metal equivalent to climbing into the ring with Mike Tyson. For an album that is so tightly and effectively crafted, it is even more impressive to learn that Immortal was compiled piecemeal throughout 2013. Given the album’s heroically ambitious scope and the confoundingly complicated compositions, this debut has every right to be a mess. But with the production aid of former Black Dahlia Murder bassist Ryan Williams, Rings of Saturn’s Bob Swanson and Cattle Decapitation drummer Zack Ohren the final product is a seamless piece of intense and relentlessly heavy death metal.

You can find more about ALTERBEAST on Facebook and on the official website.

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