Hailing from New Jersey, Siege Column has everything to prove. While featured on some local metal compilations such as New Jersey Metal Attack volumes one and two, Inferno Deathpassion is the group’s first major effort. The work in question is grimy, poorly produced, and hard-headed; what not to love?
I recently fell in love with Torture Rack’s Malefic Humiliation for the reasons described above, or so I thought. When I first heard that record, I applauded it for being an explicitly putrid effort in all shapes and abhorrent forms. To be precise, I enjoyed that album because it had a lot of the grindcore elements that I think I would enjoy, but end up disliking in practice. Murky production, chaotic nature, and barbaric vocals. While pure grindcore is a little too abstract and abrasive for my tastes, I really enjoyed Torture Rack’s sophomore effort because it appealed to the side of me that wanted to delve into complete sonic filth and chaos. Well, I sure as hell sound dumb now because Siege Column have pushed that envelope even further. While still classifying under the death metal tag, Inferno Deathpassion goes very far to straddle that line between death metal and grindcore.
Inferno Deathpassion really feels like some recently-purged unmarked cassette tape you found in a dumpster somewhere that ultimately summons a demon-like girl from your tape player every night à la The Ring. Grungy riffs, barbaric borderline-schizophrenic vocals, and sloppy drumming meets this beautifully bastardized production that makes the release absolutely disgusting. Luckily, we are speaking within the metal world where seemingly-negative comments are actually a good thing.
There really is no highlight on Inferno Deathpassion, other than the cumulative sound achieved by all of the carefully (or half-heartedly, I can’t tell) chosen mix and production choices. The album takes you back to the dark and dirty days of death metal, when kids were just experimenting in their garages. While I brought this throwback quality up in my Draghkar article, Siege Column’s aura rings even more true to the description, because Inferno Deathpassion really does sound like it was recorded in someone’s garage. No, that’s not your speakers.
There is some melody to be found if you look hard enough. The beginning of “Belial Commando” has a really catchy guitar riff that hits you weird when you first hear it, because you’ve been exposed to nothing but brutal barrages for the past seven tracks. There is also a tinge of melody within the various guitar solos on the record, which give the listener a fair break from the chaos that falls prior. Ultimately, the release doesn’t overstay its welcome, which can be a dangerous factor when indulging in this type of metal. I wouldn’t want to listen to this stuff for over thirty minutes, as it just breaks down and becomes noise after a while. These artists do however know how to keep their records short and entertaining, which is a good quality to have when you’re aiming to destroy your listener but still leave them with the ability to press “play” again when they wake up the next morning.
My only complaint with this record lies with Siege Column’s label, Nuclear War Now! Productions. Despite listed as being released on August 1st, there has been no word on the internet about this record’s release, apart from some metal sites. CVLT Nation has been discussing this album, and there are some articles on the label’s website, but other than that there is no footprint of this release online. Bandcamp features the album and tracklist but there are no purchase options, not even for digital. The only way I’m listening to the release is because CVLT Nation debuted the album through their site. I’m either missing something, or there is some hidden link somewhere that I don’t know about. I even messaged the label and have not heard a reply.
Other than the fact that I can’t even buy the release if I wanted to, this album is a short and fun listen for anyone into death metal and grindcore. Mentioned above, Inferno Deathpassion straddles that fine line between being organized and stupidly chaotic. If you need a fix for that barbaric side within all of us and want to be taken back to a time where cavemen ruled the world in nothing but loincloths, Inferno Deathpassion is for you, my friend. Currently out (?) on Nuclear War Now! Productions.