Leng Tch'e Marasmus

The self-proclaimed "Belgian razor grinders” have finally perfected a sound worthy of the various genre stalwarts inspiring their creative take on sonic punishment. Mercy fades into distant memory as Leng Tch’e’s brand of torture proceeds relentlessly through 16 tracks of dexterous destruction. Marasmus is the kind of brutal that all metal heads know and lust for: it grinds, shatters and grooves. They incorporate increased amounts of token death metal elements and even some Southern-influenced riffing to expand and mobilise their auditory arsenal. This new emphasis and admirable evolution highlights a number of hooks throughout the album, all of which have a tendency to return and haunt hours after listening. The production also adds to the catchiness and brutality, the crisp, beefy tones underscoring each element with an evenness in the mix that eludes most recordings. Sixteen tracks for a record is slightly lengthy, considering the songs are sometimes lacking individuality, but this drawback is instantly rectified by the fact that they’re all rock solid. Marasmus stands as Leng Tch’e’s finest accomplishment to date and sets the bar incredibly high for other Relapse artists this year. (Relapse)