Giannis Grim – vocals, bass
Dimitris Sakkas – guitars, drums
1. God is Dead, Satan Lives (Rosemary’s Baby)
2. Appalling Abomination
3. My Medieval Urges Materialized
4. Infestation of Atrocious Hunger
5. Inferna Kabbalah
6. Gruesome Sacred Orgasms
7. Filth-Ridden Flesh
8. Desecration of the Christian Existence
Ectoplasma are a Greek death metal band on the labels Memento Mori, and Rotted Life, who will be releasing their highly anticipated fourth album ‘Inferna Kabbalah’ on January 24th, 2022 on CD, vinyl and cassette formats. The group was initiated by Giannis Grim, also of Carnal Dread, and Humanity Zero, to name a few, and George Wolf of Forced in, and others. The two had the idea of forming when Carnal Dread and Forced In shared the bill at a local show in late 2012. Fast forward to 2022, after a few line-up changes, the founder, Giannis remains, on vocals and bass, joined only with Dimitris Sakkas on guitars and drums, a man with much experience in the metal underground.
The lyrics ‘God is dead, Satan lives… Grrrr!’ sound like a joke. Making things worse, you hear them almost immediately, which isn’t exactly a good first impression. Even so, you get some pretty tasty riffs! They may seem cliched at first, but the sense of development these guys have is pretty well judged and such cliches soon become badass. The sound isn’t too intellectual, and it’s not plain dumb, rather it’s for the average cool DM dude, making these people lots of fun for almost everybody, surely. There are even some tech death influences which is a little surprising after hearing such a basic intro. The sound is thick and sludgy with a non-artificial performance and production, and the band seem to have taken influence from a range of acts, including the basic Bolt Thrower and the catchy power chord chugs of Fear Factory. The super chromatic ‘Frayed Ends of Sanity’ by Metallica also seems to have inspired Ectoplasma, and the occasional sudden shifts of tempo bring to mind Cannibal Corpse. Tremolo picked ideas and dark harmonies have a more black metal sound.
‘Lots of influences, then? I bet it sounds like a mess.’ Nope, not at all. The music has enough inspirations for it to be very entertaining from start to finish and as the ideas are reasonably closely related to each other in that they all abuse power chords, just in slightly different ways, it doesn’t sound at all random. Some shreddy Kirk Hammett style wah wah solos would have been the icing on the cake, but I guess I should just be happy with the sheer quantity and quality of riffs. There are so many. (But at least have some basic pentatonic licks??) Even though this is death metal, maybe some vocal or instrumental melodies could have been used though, as 35 minutes of non stopped chugging and tremolo picking can get a bit much. Not for true, hardened DM fans though, so maybe I should have kept my mouth shut. In my humble opinion, this is very good DM, but with a lead part like in ‘Enter Sandman’ heard every now and then? THAT would be Heaven.
In conclusion, if you think sludge bands such as Lair of the Minotaur should be a lot faster, Ectoplasma are the guys for you. There isn’t too much to criticise, but let’s face facts, is this music as good as Dream Theater’s stuff? Of course not. It’s largely music for beating other people up in mosh pits to, or for blasting out of your car and scaring the elderly. And it’s for that reason alone, I have to give the rational score of 3.5 out of 5. But with some wah wah leads? You know what? Maybe I’d give 4.5 if they were done really well. Screw it, I know it may sound unbelievable, but such ideas would put them into elite prog metal territory. All in all, a great DM release that will please almost all fans of the genre, I’m sure. Check it out!