Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Senior Writer/Journalist ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway, Owner/Chief Editor
From Sacramento, California comes the savagely metallic introduction to the band CTRL+All+Delete, by means of their four-song, self-titled EP issued in late October.
Upon the offering, we experience the sinisterly charged, sonic savagery of sludge and doom infused crust metal, delivered to us directly from vocalist Bryan Gates, bassist Russ Partanen, drummer Chris Baxter, and guitarist Kona Verdadero. It is the style of stuff one would imagine being the result of steadily intakes of Black Sabbath, Electric Wizard, and say, EyeHateGod, for untold years.
This music is abrasive, volatile, and absolutely merciless in its intent to batter you senseless and it all begins with the vile and evil “Shadow Mirror.” From the very first riffs to ooze out from the song, you can feel the malicious intent as it slithers on to your flesh, soon bolstered by rumbling bass lines and kit-crushing drumming. There are constant timing and tempo changes twisting their way all about the track, while the vocals are straight up hellish and venomous. Oh, and there is a rather nice guitar solo to boot!
Where the first track was of a slower nature, its follow-up, “Burning The Major Arcana“, is its exact opposite in many ways as it comes from out of nowhere and attacks. Blistering, breakneck riffs are discharged right from the start, but even they don’t achieve the monstrous machinations of the song’s drum work, a maddening assault rife with blast beats. Then again, there are those acidic, throat-shredding vocals, ones that can easily draw comparisons to Carcass’ Jeff Walker or ZAO’s Dan Weyandt.
With the second song now incinerated, things slow up a bit again with the roll out of third song, “Screaming Martyrs.” We move back into shadows of dense doom again, but there is a quickly noticeable difference on the mic – clean vocals, albeit somewhat shouted ones, yet clean nonetheless. All the while, Iommian riffs resonate their most horrific output and gradually things hit a point where the music gets a fuel-injected shot and then explodes with frenzied fury.
That underlying manifestation of doom is a returning presence as we go headlong into the EP’s final cut, “Crystals And Chalices,” my favorite song of the four. The traditional guitars emit massive riffs, bolstered by the beefy rhythmic support beneath and, somehow, an even more vicious vocal, although it is dealt with some tamping down. In some passages, the music undergoes grandiosely epic leaps, gaining momentum as it deals brief glimpses of a vintage Morbid Angel influence.
An incredible ending to the wonderful surprise that is CTRL+All+Delete and their self-titled EP, for sure. But speaking of wonderful surprises, you have one in store for yourself because along with the stream of the EP in this review, it is currently available as an NYP (Name Your Price) item at Bandcamp [HERE]. If you are a fanatic for doomy, extreme metal that is viciously visceral and harmfully heavy, this is all you.