The Cleansing – Poisoned Legacy (Deepsend Records)

Sunday, 17th March 2013
Rating: 8/10

In one of the more unique situations with a death metal act like Denmark’s The Cleansing, the current vocalist Toke Eld doesn’t sing on this debut album Poisoned Legacy due to a police matter. Following his suspended sentence, Toke’s attempts to re-record the vocals previous laid down by bassist Martin Rosendahl didn’t turn out that well, so Martin’s takes remain on these 10 tracks.

The historical background of the quintet includes drummer Morten Lowe (Submission, The Arcane Order, touring drummer at one point for Soilwork), and former Usipian members Jeppe Hasseriis and Andreas Lynge on guitars. Signing to the US label Deepsend and benefiting from the mixing and mastering knowledge of Jacob Hansen, The Cleansing in 41 minutes and change, deliver their moniker in droves.

These gentlemen study the muting and dive bomb riff techniques from American acts like Immolation and Morbid Angel, while also retaining a sense of versatile rhythmic sensibilities not far away from Vader. Martin’s voice is deep and discernable, so they don’t sacrifice in terms of intensity. My favorite tracks include the marching triplet speed fest “Flesh Recycled” complete with Morten’s 1000 times faster double bass against the regular tempo performance and the haunting six minute epic “The Domino of Phantom Effects” which opens quietly with clean guitars and then travels through a doom-death spiral arrangement.

The Cleansing may not be re-writing the death metal with technical flash textbook, but on Poisoned Legacy they certainly aren’t tarnishing the energy or ability to sever appendages while retaining solid structural songwriting. Definitely not a record for the weak at heart, this would be one to insure adrenaline and attack maneuvers for military combat.

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