IMMENSE DECAY, From Ashes Till Remains (2011, self-released)

The skull:
The Council sees a lot of covers like this, which frame a central, large skull with some vague, abstract textures. It’s as if the band asked for just a big dumb skull, dead center, for their cover, but then saw the first draft and were beset with a nagging doubt in their creative vision. So, they sent the artist back to fill in the empty areas, and maybe could he work in a little color? It looks like this image is supposed to suggest carven stone, but I doubt any sculptor, ancient or modern, would spend the time needed to chisel the brain folds or coils of intestines that adorn the space around this otherwise handsome skull. Who knows, though. Maybe Immense Decay had it planned out all along. “Picture it: a skull in a gutpile, slathered in stucco! It’s literally gritty!” Seriously, picture it, that’d be pretty cool.

The music:
As you’d expect from a band called Immense Decay (if you’re not already singing “Angel of Death” to yourself, you’re not much of a metalhead!), this is pure Slayer worship. The production is modern, but the riffs are straight out of the King/Hannemann playbook. That said, even some random band from Poland can put out a better Slayer album than Slayer in this day and age, and if you don’t need originality in your thrash (and really, at this point, how could you?), From Ashes Till Remains might tickle your fancy. The band is tight, the songs are decent, and the vocals are acceptable. Plus, you can impress your thrash friends with the obscurity of your taste and the reach of your acquisitiveness. That alone is worth something, right?
— Friar Johnsen

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