The Kolkata metal scene has in the past few years in particular seen the formations of old-school metal oriented bands, in stark contrast to the normative route of bands in the city prior to that. Purgation in particular has had a fairly prolific stint as a live force since its inception, including having played at the annual Undergrind Fest (Bangalore, India), Death Skull Ritual II and Banish the Posers Fest (Bangladesh) in addition to having appeared on the Motorhead India tribute album amidst a slew of other names from the country, covering ‘Terminal Show’. Finally, having signed to Slaughterhouse Records (USA) in the recent past, the band, which was previously known as Flesh Protocol, released debut EP – ‘Exterminated Malfeasance’ late last year. An admittedly brief record as is expected for a release of this nature, clocking in at a little short of 18 minutes, the EP begins with a conventional intro which sets the tone for the album, portraying a scenario of some sort of disarray. Stylistically, the band leans on the sort of old school death metal popularized by the old New York greats a la Pyrexia and Dehumanized, and of course Suffocation is an influence that is immediately palpable here.
Rhythmically relentless in its execution, the riffs are syncopation-driven with the signature grooves employed at appropriate intervals, serving as compositional relief that inverses the stress in a passage, in addition to being a direct nod to their influences. The slower passages are quite evocative of the ponderous indulgences of classic Cannibal Corpse, alleviating the senses from the crushing linearity and recursive nature of the combative riffing occurring within the verse. The compositional structure here centres around and shifts between a small pool of established rhythms, ultimately making the songs cyclical in nature, which isn’t a negative thing at all. However, leads, especially during the solos seem a little too sloppy for my liking, and more than the preciseness of their execution, the overall tonal and melodic sensibilities (or rather the lack of consonance) of the solos comes across as disjointed relative to its rhythmic backing – it ultimately ends up being inchoate in its attempt to veer away from the archetypal key-less, anti-melodic atonalities. The vocals are quite conventional, and there’s nothing much to say in this regard, with a satisfactory guttural texture with the individual lines within the verses being very brief hostile barks.
This is slamming (though devoid of the excessive slams many contemporary bands indulge in), mettlesome and gritty music driven by an impact-oriented ethos, which the band achieves to a great extent, driven by the interminable percussive mercilessness and lucidity of the drums, ushering in the tempo changes that occur within the already brief compositions. The tone of the drums might warrant a little adjustment on the part of the listener, but its dexterity is indubitable for the most part. Ultimately, however, the band stands equidistant between mediocrity and excellence. The compositions are coherent, intense and tightly executed as a whole, but lack the exuberance and explosive nature of their influences, and don’t really employ any song-writing tactics to break outside of their generic mould, resulting in a prosaic experience. The production values don’t help in this regard, being a little too muffled for this type of booming and impactful music to truly shine through. It’s certainly gratifying for what it is, and the potential and execution abilities is never up for question, but ‘Exterminated Malfeasance’ ends up being a little too pedestrian for its own good, never lacking in competence in terms of riff phrasing, placements and duration; but instead in terms of sheer memorability.
Stream the entire EP below: