Review: Affliction Gate 'Dying Alone'

‘Dying Alone’, the latest offering from French Death Metal quintet Affliction Gate, which follows two previous EPs, and their 2009 debut full length ‘Aeon Of Nox’, their first on the Transcending Obscurity label, which took no prisoners. It’s a four track offering spanning seventeen minutes, and not a second is wasted on intros or fillers, it’s just straight down to the business of brutality; in the shape of old school Death Metal that offers a passing nod to the likes of Bolt Thrower, Hail Of Bullets, Death, and Suffocation.

Opening with ‘Negative Lucidity’ and straight into a galloping pace, a mix of dirty riffs, hammering drums, and the rasping growl of Herostratos which, despite the harsh delivery is largely decipherable. There’s a swift tempo switch a third of the way through, where a noticeable Bolt Thrower influence emerges, particularly in the midpoint lead, the tempo elevating towards the close, in anticipation of a closing shred of surprising and welcoming proportions.

The slightly slower paced ‘Devising Our Own Chains’ has punchy riffs with an equally punchy vocal delivery, which is both emphasised and broken up by superb haunting lead sections, along with well placed sudden tempo elevations, an intriguing track.

EP title track ‘Dying Alone’ builds on a repeat riff that rises in volume. The overall mood and pace is slower and somewhat sombre. The pace does quicken as the track progresses, but the sombre mood, not surprisingly, given the title, remains the same, right down to the closing lead work.

‘Manicheism Inertia’ opens as a pummelling onslaught. A dirty repeat riff that’s hypnotic and crushing, and there’s no let up with the arrival of the indefatigable vocals. A track that made me smile, because it reminded me in many ways of that greatly underrated Danish Death Metal band, Corpus Mortale with its unrelenting brutality. A small segment of spoken vocals midway through the second half gives a moment to draw breath, setting it up for some excellent, jangly, closing, repeat guitar work.

Overall ‘Dying Alone’ is a solid EP and well worth a listen.

Review: Jools Green


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