Tech-death newcomers Universally Estranged venture past the outer limits of Earth’s atmosphere on their debut LP, Reared Up in Spectral Predation. Like Blood Incantation or Tomb Mold, the project turns to deep space sci-fi horror for inspiration on this offering. Both of those bands worked with artist Lucas Korte, whose album cover for this record is a visual representation of the music’s impact on the human brain. Luckily, you can explode your cerebral flesh a few days early right here at Decibel. Blood Harvest Records will unleash one of the year’s hottest death metal debuts officially on April 30th.
In the 1988 remake of The Blob, we first see the titular creature emerge from a pod that crashed into some Earthling backwoods. Universally Estranged ooze out of their own space egg in the album intro. When the album’s maw opens wide, it reveals a project that’s far more than an extraterrestrial interpretation of Morbid Angel. “The Visitor” invites sneaky melodic leads into the mix of mutagens even before an electronic passage concludes the song. An old school groove pounds in “Teeming With That of Unknown Origin,” until a pensive reprieve permits an exhale of cosmic smoke. A late-album synth interlude feels like it crawled from Lovecraftian shocker Color Out of Space. Universally Estranged then unchain their creative whims in the chaotic and satisfying closer, “Blistered Under the Blue Illusion.” While the themes invite listeners to expand their imagination and visit unknown worlds, the album’s mix retains throwback rawness and grit. The result is a band announcing its arrival with a roar that body-snatches some of the best elements of early ’90s technical death metal.
Let Universally Estranged mutate your brain cells and press play below.