Gourmand- "Blossoming From The Grave" Album Review

Greetings, Abyss! It's been a monstrous year for tech death and here at the Abyss we've done nothing but bask in its evil, glorious glow. With the shear volume of releases within the genre, it's nigh on impossible to hear every album that you should be hearing. What kills me is that as we approach the fourth quarter of the year, "Best of" lists are going to be taking shape and I know, just KNOW, that I will have missed several albums that could be vying for a spot in 2018's Top 10. One album that didn't sneak passed old Deputy Fife here is Blossoming From the Grave, the sophomore album from Kansas City's Gourmand, which was released independently on August 17th. Once again the stellar metal people over at Mind Eraser Promotions hooked us up with a promotional copy and I've immersed myself in every wicked and haunting twist and turn just for you. Sacrifices, I make them. With all the merciless brutalizations of Decrepit Birth and Decapitated, yet tempered with the melodic counterpoints of Ne Obliviscaris or Opeth, Gourmand have crafted a sound that is made heavier because it's not a perpetual onslaught. Take 'A Message in Wax,' a track that shoots out of the gates like a bull who wants to put a horn up its rider's rectum. The track eventually and deftly slows for a solo that borders on mournful. Extended breaks from the rhythm section that allow tension to build, coupled with a deftly incorporated cello (you read that right) make A Message in Wax very emblematic of what Blossoming has to offer. A lone cello opens 'Between Vessel and Body' and I'm immediately reminded of Refused's Tannhauser/Derive and the stark dichotomy a single orchestral instrument (in that song, a violin) introducing a heavy piece of music creates. It's more than just another sound, credit in the liner notes or notch in the prog death belt, it's a separate texture and plane of expression that both compliments and reinforces just how heavy the underpinnings of this album are. What lies at the end of Blossoming From the Grave is a sense that it is a complete listening experience. It is a record, much like Rivers of Nihil's juggernaut 'Where Owls Know My Name,' that can only be fully appreciated during an uninterrupted listening session. Though there are certainly standout tracks (Siren's Song is the current twist-my-arm favorite), even it is best experienced within the context of the mournful dirge 'Redemption' that precedes it and the pummeling groove of 'Perpetual Sickness' that follows. This is the mark of an album that's been carefully and purposefully constructed, and a listening experience that is no less enjoyable the 12th go-around than the first. And there we are, yet another top tier addition to the unending flood of exceptional technical and progressive death metal albums this year. Don't let this one get lost in the mix, loyal Abyss reader, it's very much deserving of your time and money. Which is a less-than-original segue into links for Gourmand's Bandcamp and Big Cartel pages. You can follow the band on Facebook, where we also just so happen to have a page. Give a listen to 'A Message in Wax' from Gourmand's official YouTube page and hit us up in the comments section with your take. Rage on! JPR

Gourmand - "Blossoming From The Grave" Video

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