Ahtme – Mephitic (Unique Leader)

Thursday, 16th July 2020
Rating: 7.5/10

Grooving right along into their third release (if you count The Demonization), Ahtme continue to flex the same death metal muscles, and they’ve been working out. The major issue with their last effort, Sewerborn, was the overtly long running time, and it’s an issue that has been settled on Mephitic. Running at a sleek 36-minutes, it can run a full bludgeoning speed without feeling that extreme metal tedium that can often set in with longer durations.

The formula hasn’t really changed for the band, which is fine for those who just want an unbridled feast of brutality. Ahtme have studied their Cannibal Corpse and Malevolent Creation with due diligence, and Mephitic is an apt pupil and steamroller. The tracks all come in with plenty of speed and blastbeats, occasionally dialing it back to some more mid-tempo stuff so that you can get some groove in (“Dissolve” and “Dent” provide fine examples here) before they go back into more playful and speedy stuff. There’s some tech-y elements in the faster tempos, but it’s not one of those ‘make your eyeballs pop out’ type of listens. Ahtme stick to the ‘brutality is law’ code, which truthfully is a nice change of pace from the more sterile, tech-first releases in more recent years. There’s enough melody within the carnage to give the tracks enough of their own flavor, even if the tempo changes stay familiar and the shortened time span helps reduce any feelings of monotony.

Those who want a quick burst of heaviness and aggression should take Ahtme up on the offer with Mephitic. They’ve polished and streamlined their sound to the point where it all hits the mark and it provides all of the rage necessary to get you through another day.

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