Resin Tomb – Cerebral Purgatory (Transcending Obscurity)

Friday, 19th January 2024
Rating: 9 / 10

We like our metal filthy, and if you follow the kind of artists yours truly likes to cover, that statement shouldn’t surprise in the least. There’s just something about gritty, visceral walls of angst-ridden metallic brutality that gets these old bones giddy. Our subject of this brand of heavier than reasonable madness is Australia’s Resin Tomb. Having dropped a pair of EPs in 2020 and 2022 respectively, their material thus far has been a head-turning taste of blackened death metal with a hair of sludge for ambiance. The real test was going to be the inevitable full-length, and that time has arrived in the malevolent form of Cerebral Purgatory.

Resin Tomb’s chaotic, no compromises style immediately reminds of Gravesend, whose latest Gowanus Death Stomp has a similar to-the-point feel, though Resin Tomb isn’t as grind-oriented. Vermin Womb is another apt comparison overall, along with the likes of black/death merchants Ruin Lust. The massacre commences with the tightly wound “Dysphoria” and its meticulous riffs, black metal inspired lead work, and the percussive explosion that is Perry Vedelago. His drum work is the spine of Ruin Lust’s immense power, putting in a resolute and head-spinning performance throughout the entirety of Cerebral Purgatory. Combine that with Mitch Long’s thumping bass lines, and that’s a rhythm section not to be tampered with.

The frenetic pace continues with “Flesh Brick,” where the versatile guitar work of Brendan Auld and Matt Gordon is on full display. The rhythm tone is vicious and the riffs are imposingly memorable, while the leads cut through the mix to provide an aura of stinging hopelessness. “Scalded” and the title track ease the accelerator somewhat, allowing for their sludge/doom side to grab hold for a few moments, giving the listener a small amount of breathing room. That quickly evaporates with the scalding single “Human Confetti,” while an inkling of doom enhanced by grind-ish defiance creeps in with “Concrete Crypt.”

Closer “Putrescence” overflows with tension, notably traversing different tempos while never losing a morsel of intensity. Vocalist Matt Budge’s gravely, sharp screams claw and shred with gristly determination on the entire record, but are especially potent in the finale. He possesses a tone that’s so fierce that it rivals the many forms of wildlife in Australia that are constantly out to end you. Damn drop bears. We also can’t forget Mitchell Nolte’s cover artwork, of which conveys the band’s serrated, destructive sound profile to a tee.

Clocking in at under thirty minutes, Cerebral Purgatory is compact, yet brings a mighty pummeling. Would we complain with an added track or two? Absolutely not, but not as if there isn’t enough on offer, but this album is so wonderfully devastating that one can’t help but thirst for more. Certainly not a negative attribute to have. Resin Tomb has unfurled a snarling wild animal of a debut, of which we’ll be blasting for quite some time. We can envision many connoisseurs of vile death metal tearing through Cerebral Purgatory like this dude annihilates a bag of Chicken Twisties. Seriously, somebody send me some of those. Don’t forget the Burger Rings and the Tim Tams.

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