Elitist Fear in a Handful of Dust

Elitist Fear in a Handful of Dust
This Portland, OR-based band take the best elements of several aspects of extreme metal and combine them for one punishing and enjoyable listen. Opener "Burning the Unspoken Gospel" combines ugly sludge with the slower, crawling moments of Morbid Angel's catalogue. When the band toss in some aspects of crust and black ("Cult Malevolence" has them both, along with a fully metal title), I'm thinking of British scumbags Dragged into Sunlight, then when the band get all death metal again, they go to the Obituary-filled, swampy waters of Florida. "Ivory Shavings of the Tools Unknown" brings dynamics and an end-time melody to the table, "Bound and Bent" gets grind-y and "Slowly Fucked and Force Fed" is an almost-romantic-sounding homage to Cannibal Corpse (at least that title is ― the music holds tight at a Crowbar crawl). The vibe of the whole thing spews out enough negativity to keep Anaal Nathrakh fans happy. That's a lot of name-dropping, but those are notable names, testimony to how diverse and impressive this debut album from Elitist is. (Season of Mist)