When Slayer's magnum opus 'Reign In Blood' was released in the mid eighties, one of the major talking points was its brevity.
Youths brought up on Iron Maiden albums and Metallica albums so long they had to be released as double twelve inch singles to preserve the integrity of the sound were dumbstruck that an album that could contain so many ideas and, let's face it, great songs, could be listened to in a tick under half an hour from start to finish. It just didn't seem creditable...
Of course the beauty of this approach was and is that there was no fat on 'Reign In Blood' – just half an hour of coruscating, classic thrash Metal, and Wollongong's New Blood have taken this short leaf out of the book of Hanneman, Araya, King and Lombardo and delivered a ten track elpee that's even shorter than RiB, but gets the job done in much the same bloody, vicious way.
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That isn't to compare 'Subsistence' to that epoch-defining record of course. How could you? It's merely a long winded way of putting to you, the potential listener (and, hopefully, purchaser) that this album is completely fat free.
Nothing is allowed to complicate tracks such as 'Entrails Of Vermin Descent' and the utterly storming 'Cradle Of Mind', both of which are maelstroms of dervish-like brutality, whirlpools of filth whipped to within an inch of their lives by a band which clearly knows its way around a recording studio.
That doesn't mean the songs are uncomplicated, oh no. By combining elements of classic Death and Cannibal Corpse, not to mention a big lump of Suffocation, New Blood contrive to provide twenty five minutes of essential modern death Metal.
I'm not kidding – if brutal technicality is where your head is at then you absolutely have to own this sledgehammer of a record.