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Review

Stranguliatorius – Rope, Soap, Tabouret Review

Band: Stranguliatorius
Album: Rope, Soap, Tabouret
Label: Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
Genre: Death Metal
Country: Lithuania
Release Date: December 28th, 2018

Stranguliatorius hails from the country of Lithuania and play a dark and brutalizing brand of death metal. Made up of four members; Švedas on bass, Kaplerezas on drums, Kunigas on guitar, and Iggy doing the vocals. Rope, Soap, Tabouret is the first release on Horror Pain Gore Death Productions; this follows an EP, a full length, and a demo. Categorized as “Deathgrinding Doom” on the album’s Bandcamp page, this is death metal that wants you dead; the album title lets you know the band is alright with you doing it for them.

Iggy is the voice of this beast; his vocals are a low register growl or a slightly higher howl, switching back and forth while matching the music perfectly. Iggy’s performance also fits quite well with the lyrics on some of these songs, most of which center on violence and gore. Morgue Surgeons tells the process of preparing a dead body in grotesque detail, and Executioner’s Lament is about a man tortured by the souls of those he puts to death; Iggy’s vocals sell this lyrical content in a way that would often fall flat in less capable hands.

Švedas and Kaplerezas are in charge of the low end in this group, and it would not be anywhere near as heavy or brutal as it is without their contributions. Švedas delivers some of the slimiest bass lines you’re likely to hear; it sounds like you can hear the viscera falling from the strings as he plays. The sludge-y quality it adds is especially noticeable and well executed in the slower doomier segments; you feel like you’re wading through a swamp. Kaplerezas commands the thunderous and pummeling drums; double-bass rips at the perfect time, utterly destructive no matter the tempo, and a good balance of cymbal use. The brutalizing quality to the album is really driven home by Kaplerezas’ sparing use of blast beats; by not filling the album end to end with them, they actually carry weight when they arrive.

The biggest negative on this album is the bizarre electronic part that opens Dream of an Anthropologist and closes (also taking up all but four and a half minutes of) Unrepeatable Ritual of Death; it is distracting, doesn’t seem to add anything to the atmosphere, and isn’t referenced elsewhere on the album at all. I’m fairly sure there is something thematically connected that is getting lost in translation, as what is spoken is what I assume is Lithuanian. On the former it thankfully doesn’t last long, and the song is worth the wait, but on the latter comes after the end of the song and continues for a while not building to anything. I began skipping it after forcing myself to listen to the full thing a few times. This album also gets a bit repetitive here and there across the runtime; for the most part it shifts frequently enough to never get boring, but you do notice that many of the songs have a very similar sound and structure.

Stranguliatorius have put together an imperfect but very good album of vicious death metal that will level all but the strongest. I really enjoyed this release overall, outside of the sections I mentioned, every song was a hit. Rope, Soap, Tabouret is boiling over with potential; showing competent song-writing abilities and an extraordinary sense of their own musical presence. I’m looking forward to hearing more from this group and hoping they continue to develop the more dynamic part of their music without shedding the dark and brutal sound.

Rating: 7.5/10

Tracklist:

  1. Nine Nursemaids
  2. Morgue Surgeons
  3. Foretime Saints
  4. Executioner’s Lament
  5. Dream of an Anthropologist
  6. Architect of Anger
  7. The Performance of a Sociopath
  8. Happy Mothers Day
  9. Unrepeatable Ritual of Death

Total Playing Time: 41:56

Click here to visit Stranguliatorius’ Bandcamp!

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