Staunton, Virginia’s Diseased Earth have been on my radar for a while now. Featuring former members of The Leviathan’s Mandible and Death from Massive Damage, the band have been making a name for themselves playing shows consistently over the past few years. They’ve also offered up two demos and an EP since their 2014 inception. Now, the blackened sludge four-piece unleash their new three-track release, simply titled Promo 2017.
Set to be featured on the band’s upcoming full-length, the tracks are just a 15-minute taste of what’s to come, yet Diseased Earth manage to pack quite a punch with these three diverse songs. The band incorporate various styles and influences, including doom, grind and death metal, into their classically heavy sludge-based approach, while also layering it with sinister tones to create a uniquely dark sound.
Following a brief soundbite, “Cloven Hoof” starts off with a slow, muddy riff, plodding drums and barking vocals before kicking up the pace with a blazing lead as the vocals switch to intensely harsh gutturals. The seven-minute track transitions once again to a doomy dirge, but features moments of ethereal melodies, which cut through the density of the track.
The grind and death metal influences really come through on “Oathbreaker,” which features fast-paced dissonant, catchy riffs while also incorporating ominous black metal-esque shrieks. Mid-way through the song slows down to a trudge before a dense, sludgy chug picks it back up and intertwines a delicate, yet murky, lead.
Lastly, “Tyrants and Wolves” highlights the rhythm section, starting with heavy bass and drums beats, which build with guitars into a headbang-worthy, stoner-style riff. Menacing vocals anchor the track, bringing it back down and bonding it with the darkness of the previous two songs.
Dynamic and cohesive, Diseased Earth have created a solid set of tracks, showcasing their best work to date. If it’s any indication of the kind of material that’s to be expected from their forthcoming release, the next album is set to be a promising one.
Release Date: February 24, 2017