Published Oct 10, 2018Pennsylvania death metal newcomers Outer Heaven have impressed the extreme metal community in their short time together through top-notch live performances and spectacular releases, such as their Diabolus Vobiscum EP or their four-way split with Gatecreeper, Homewrecker and Scorched. Five years into their career, the band have finally unleashed their full-length debut and Realms of Eternal Decay does not disappoint.
Starting things off with some ominous vibes, the band rip into meaty old-school death metal riffs on "Vortex of Thought." They pick up the pace on songs such as "What Lies Beneath" or "Bloodspire" while intertwining mid-tempo knuckle dragging caveman riffs that make their speedier moments stand out. The band's approach to death metal brings to mind Incantation or Vile-era Cannibal Corpse, focusing on brutality through solid riffs instead of relying solely on speed.
Where Outer Heaven's past releases had a charming raw energy to them, the production quality was not up to par with the skills of the band like it is here. Bassist Raymond Figueroa's tone cuts through the mix with deadly results, standing out particularly on "Multicellular Savagery." Vocalist Austin Haines' grim, low guttural vocals are menacing like never before, with his voice finally standing out in the mix.
The record also has a fantastic concept to follow through the lyrics. Bringing a horror and sci-fi feel through a loose story of a bacterial infection that causes the planet's inhabitants to hallucinate and have a lust for murdering and consuming each other, the record delivers an interesting narrative that enhances the songs.
Realms of Eternal Decay is a phenomenal album that takes the best aspects of old-school death metal combined with hints of black metal under a modern sound. The band may be early in their career, but they've clearly set themselves up to be one of the most exciting emerging death metal acts to watch. (Relapse)