Like the mighty Cthulhu, Southern European death metal bands never die, just sleep and wait. Aposento is yet another old, old Spanish band which has reactivated itself in the last few years. Formed in 1990, they spent a number of years releasing a few demos and playing a few festivals, only to fade into obscurity until 2012, when they reformed and released the MCD Retorno a la Muerte. 2014 saw the release of their debut full length Aposento, and this year they are back with their sophomore album – 27 years after their founding!
Bleed to Death sounds like the title suggests – this is death metal with a minimum of bells and whistles. In fact, it could probably be certified as bell-free and low-whistle, suitable for people suffering from core-tose intolerance and proggophobia. This is, of course, not a bad thing. Hammering away in the vein of Cannibal Corpse, fellow countrymen Avulsed, and with a touch of Seance’s Saltrubbed Eyes, Aposento’s no-bullshit approach to death metal may be old-fashioned, but that’s the way everything should be all the time.
With song titles like “Maleficarvm”, “Partially Deceased Syndrom”, “Slaughtered” and the delightful pun “Wishing Hell”, the lyrical and conceptual themes are also right on point, fitting well with the brutal, deeply growling vocals. As far as different tempos go, drummer Gabri Valcázar covers them all – blast beats, double kick drum rumblings and the occasional (very occasional), Immolation style tech part. The production feels rather fresh, not simply reproducing 90’s classics, but also avoiding covering the whole sound in the glitz and glamour of exaggerated gadgetry. Everything is clear and well separated in the mix, but you still hear the fundamental hammering of instruments that form the violent whole. The great bass sound and fat guitar distortion would be a credit to any producer, as well as to the men who wield the instruments in question.
Bleed to Death is an onslaught of ominousness, a hellstorm of heaviness, a grotto of grunts. Grinding, growling and killing its way through the listener, it showcases exactly how death metal should be played to come to its full potential. If you don’t like this, you don’t like death metal. And if you like death metal, you’ll like this. The album is released on June the 12th, and is currently available for digital pre-order from Xtreem’s Bandcamp. The physical edition will be available from the label’s webstore.