Back From the Grave, Straight in Your Face

BY Chris AyersPublished Feb 19, 2020

There is old-school death metal, then there is ancient-school death metal. Portugal's Innards inhabit the latter: late '80s death with the rawest production, thick bottom end and bathtub-drain vocals. The trio grace fans with three unwaveringly similar cuts, intended to invoke those primal feelings of brutal ecstasy when Autopsy and pre-Spiritual Healing Death ruled the extreme underground.
After a short Mortician-like intro from an unnamed horror movie, "Night of the Anthropophagous" begins the record's meteoric rise to Autopsy levels of death metal insanity. Frontman Hugo Andremon blazes on his six-string, fingers blurred in picking relentless buzzsaw riffage. Despite the almost-black-metal density of chords, Andremon still manages to play tasteful solos just slowly enough to pick out each note.
"Enlightenment Through Hate" pits Andremon's gargle against Massacre's Kam Lee, with stratospheric guitar solos by Sodom's Frank Blackfire. The vocal interplay is diabolic and palpable, with the rhythm section nailing down the roiling beast, while Andremon and Blackfire throttle it with glittering, guitar-string nooses. "The Fog" only continues this depravity with chilling aplomb.
In this age of deathbore diversity, when bands struggle to stand out with varied offerings, Innards are comfortable staying the same with nearly indistinguishable songs. While Gruesome may summon dark divinities of metal's yesteryear, Innards embody old techniques and brandish that fetid, antique brutality regrettably absent in today's scene.
(Transcending Obscurity)

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