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Intestine Baalism - "Ultimate Instinct" (CD)

Intestine Baalism - "Ultimate Instinct" CD cover image

"Ultimate Instinct" track listing:

1. Agony In The Stone Chamber (3:32)
2. Cry For The Black Sun (3:56)
3. Longing For Birth (3:36)
4. Awaking (3:36)
5. Wind Of Death (4:40)
6. Dark Surface (4:09)
7. The Massacre (2:56)
8. Ultimate Instinct (5:43)
9. Galaxy Of The Black Sun (4:05)

Reviewed by on February 10, 2010

"Whether you’re in it for the crushing brutality or the emotional melody, 'Ultimate Instinct' has it all."

Hailing from Japan, Intestine Baalism is, at first glance, a brutal death metal band. However, as exhibited on their latest album “Ultimate Instinct,” they are much more than that. Skillfully weaving melody into brutal, groovy death metal with a Swedish flavor, Intestine Baalism is able to cross these genres without sounding lame in the process. The brutality and heaviness is never sacrificed once throughout the entire album, but the leads and melodic riffing featured here are stunning.

The band kicks things off with “Agony In The Stone Chamber,” a brutal, groovy death metal song that isn’t as melodic as the rest of the album, but is a good intro track. The melodic parts really start on the following track, “Cry For The Black Sun.” The song starts with a great lead and erupts into melodic tremolo riffing. Later on in the album, the old school side is shown again in “The Massacre.” Like the first track, it isn’t terribly melodic, but is brutal and groovy. The title track is by far my favorite track on the album. It is definitely the most melodic track on the album and perfectly blends groovy riffs and powerful leads.

Intestine Baalism has managed to take two very powerful but typically separate genres and mix them into something great without diminishing the different kinds of power from either side. On one side, you have the brutal sound that makes the music thick and heavy, but they never skimp on adding emotional leads and riffs, making this album stand heads above most bands similar. The only complaints I have are that the deep vocals could use more power and the production is a little lacking. Neither of these things, however, diminish the greatness of this album.

Whether you’re in it for the crushing brutality or the emotional melody, “Ultimate Instinct” has it all. Fans of the classic death metal sound will appreciate the groovy, crushing riffs, while the melody multiplies the quality of the music greatly. For how short this album is (just over half an hour), it packs in a ton. I will be coming back to this album again and again.

Highs: Excellent death metal that seamlessly blends brutality and melody.

Lows: Deep vocals could use a little more power.

Bottom line: Keeping it brutal and melodic all at once, this album is amazing.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)