Snorlax – II (Brilliant Emperor Records)Monday, 6th January 2020
It’s been a bit since this scribe has been engaging in some cavernous, evil-sounding death metal, and Snorlax seemed like a solid entry point back into some gritty adventures with their latest release, II, which comes after 2018’s Splintering demo (as well as a split release with Drugoth). Delighting in the black & white old school aesthetic of the bleak cover art, Snorlax provides a suitable 22-minutes of despair and chaos.
All the work of one man (Brendan Auld), II does it’s best to provide a dark experience while finding it’s own ground. It’s tough to really claim this one as a simple old school old school deathfest, even if it does have its moments of Incantation and Immolation darkness. That said, it also brings in a fair amount of black metal in regards to the atmosphere (and a few melodies) as the longer tracks, like “Mind ov Maggots” can attest. There’s also some grind-influences, most clearly notable in the explosive “The Resin Tomb” but visible elsewhere as well. It makes for a decent chunk of variety when immersed into the soup of death and doom influences that rear their heads as well. It hits hard, and the short runtime ensures that it’s also easy to enjoy on return visits. The tone really works for a release like this one too – just filthy enough to suit the listener’s taste, but keeping it also clean enough to make out the blackened melodies that spiral into some of the tracks (“The Chaos ov Iron Oppression”).
Snorlax may be somewhat indebted to a few influences, but it does a good job of also enlisting some new twists and turns to make it feel more unique. Snorlax can rumble and roar with punishing displays of brutality, and some occasional use of melody makes it a more satisfying trip through the depths.