I would not necessarily consider myself too much of a death metal stalwart. Sure, I have my choice cuts—Cryptopsy, Deicide, Demolition Hammer, but my natural inclination is more towards the punk-influenced spectrum of extreme music, mostly grindcore and powerviolence.
This being the case, I find myself underwhelmed with most modern “old-school death metal” groups who seem to believe that reverb-drenched vocals and a spooky looking logo can more than make up for a lack of originality or inspired songwriting. I don’t necessarily think it’s the worst stuff in the world, I just find most of it to be thoroughly “meh.”
So, I was a bit hesitant when I came across Our Place of Worship is Silence’s latest LP, With Inexorable Suffering. The band’s name sounded way too much like a shirt I’d see at Hot Topic and to me the band’s entire aesthetic just screamed “former hardcore kids who play death metal now and take themselves wayyyyyy too seriously.”
But after extensive listens these past few weeks, I can safely say that this band has earned the right to present themselves with such brutal imagery. I was taken aback by how off-kilter and discordant the riffing was while simultaneously being so incredibly heavy, atmospheric and despondent. This album channels a merciless and at times barbaric void that draws equally from bands like Hate Eternal and Gorguts as it does Maruta, Portal and even Humanity Falls. Every note is just so tortured and hateful, creating a bleak atmosphere matched only by the champions of the second wave of European black metal.
I think the real triumph here is that the group focused on just being as brutal and acerbic as possible without worrying too much about whether their music would fall in line with the rigid-yet-arbitrary standards of the OSDM label. I get the sense that no one here cares if they sound like Entombed or Bolt Thrower but are rather just focused on channeling their hatred in as pure and powerful a way as possible. And let me just say: mission accomplished.
With Inexorable Suffering is out now on Translation Loss.