Echelon
The Brimstone Aggrandizement

When I received this promo, I questioned the need for another Dave Ingram (Benediction, Bolt Thrower, Hail of Bullets), Rogga Johansson (Paganizer, Revolting, Ribspreader, Johansson & Speckmann et al) collaboration, despite my enjoyment of both guys’ previous and current projects, even more so considering they both recently collaborated on two Down Among the Dead Men albums over the last 3 years. And then you throw in that project also features Johan Berlund (Ribspreader, The Grotesquery) and Kjetil Lynghaug (Paganizer, Johansson & Speckmann), I was expecting another typical Johansson sounding , fun but predictable, recycled death metal project. And that’s what I got.

And while Echelon kinda does sound like what you’d expect if you have heard Down Among the Dead Men or any of Rogga’s other projects, it’s less obvious and has a much more Benediction based take on death metal. And not just because of Ingram’s distinct voice.  including plenty of  ‘ugohhhhs’, ‘heyyys’ and ‘rayyyys’. The material here is far less d-beat and crusty  than DATDM or ‘playful’/catchy as the Revolting/Ribspreader stuff It has a nice crisp crunch, again, reminiscent of Benediction’s tone, no HM boss buzz, just big, crunchy riffs, a hint of melodic death metal by way of some surprisingly harmonic solos, and just a no nonsense, enjoyable 8 song, 34 minute romp.

The Brimstone Aggrandizement isn’t going to change death metal, but it certainly seems to sound like a Benediction comeback, just under a different moniker. From opener “Plague of the Altruistic”, through standout “Of Warlocks and Wolves”, both featuring nice little melodic licks, and “Lex Talionis” to the catchy combination closer”Monsters in the Gene Pool/ Sonic Vortex”, the album is a simple affair, and other than a few odd samples, does the job pretty well, and sounds you’d think a Dave Ingram/Rogga Johansson pairing would sound like, just with more Ingram and less Rogga sound.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 28th, 2016

Comments

  1. Commented by: Allred

    I really dug this album, definitely not anything groundbreaking/spearheading, but definitely my favorite vocal performance Ingram has done since leaving Benediction…I thought this album had a nice mix of Benediction and Kam Lee fronted Denial Fiend. Fun stuff. \m/


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