Gorgatron
Agony Reborn EP

Well this is a pleasant, somewhat of a surprise EP release from North Dakota’s Gorgatron. While I am admittedly only moderately familiar with the band and their craft of death metal that seems to reside somewhere between the brutal stylings of Hate Eternal and Gorgasm (what is it with these “Gor-” bands and their knack for kicking ass?) I was expecting a little more output than what we get with Agony Reborn. At a mere four tracks, one being a cover, I was a bit let down that there wasn’t more original material presented, more so after delving into the EP and finding the opening track to just be a minute and a half intro/instrumental, that while cool in its own right, doesn’t really set up or add anything to the EP in terms of needed or necessary.

A bigger surprise awaited though, as the traditional tracks of original material yielded a sound a tad bit removed from their prior stylings. Now don’t get me wrong, the guys are still ripping up some great death metal, it’s just these couple of tracks hit with a bit of thrashiness, not unlike that of Malevolent Creation and their The Ten Commandments debut. After “Execrated Liturgy” , the aforementioned unnecessary intro, we are treated to the title track, “Agony Reborn”, a catchy, upbeat, well mixed and played song, though not an ultra brutal basher. Its more straightforwardness and thrashy and hook filled presence is simple and effective with riffage that sticks to your ribs. A touch of Brendon Small’s Dethklok flavoring can be found within the track also, to be fair though, that’s just your standard death metal riffing affair; as well as a ripping Slayer-esqe quality backed by some nice blast beats at the 3:17 mark.

“The Unwilling” follows course with some great double bass pummeling and some tasty tremolo picked riffage before the blast beats take off and the song rips in a most lethal and serpentine way. The track has more of a Morbid Angel/Hate Eternal vibe that I was expecting from the prior offering, though I would still say that the aforementioned early Malevolent Creation influence is still present. A lot of this is also due to the more decipherable gutturals of vocalist, Karl Schmidt, whose performance on this EP brings, to my mind, reflections of the late, great Brett Hoffmann. The song is definitely a winner and the slow versus speedier moments of the track really do bring an enhanced appeal.

Closing out this meager, yet razor sharp riffed, monster of bloody hooks galore, EP is a fantastic cover of Sepultura‘s “Dead Embryonic Cells”. Faithful to the original in pretty much every way except for some added blasts here and there, this cover is absolutely kick ass. No need to fuck with perfection and change things up or add to it until it’s unrecognizable, and the Gorgatron guys know this. What they give is a true to form rendition that rips as much as the original as far as I’m concerned. When it’s all said and done, everything flies bye too fast and as good as it is, another “real” song would have added to the pleasure that Agony Reborn produces. All in all though, that’s my real and only fault I can find with Gorgatron and this EP release, which speaks volumes in and of itself. Good Stuff…

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kristofor Allred
December 9th, 2022

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