Locusta - Locusta

It’s always smashing to encounter a new group mastering the craft of death-metal without neglecting the genre’s most archetypical and essential elements, which is something that Ohio’s Locusta did on their self-titled debut album. This is proper, concise and devastating death-metal that has nothing to do with this whole new generation of acts spawned by MySpace, whose first two rules on their book are first: include as many riffs you can into one song and second: throw in a couple of breakdowns just to gain a modern credibility and that bouncing vibe.
Locusta aren’t set out to break any barriers, yet that doesn’t make them any less interesting since the band have made an appealing and competent use of well-worn death-metal elements without sounding dated or jaded.
The album exhibits an imaginative and clever structuring that prevents Locusta from falling into monotony, there are slower, groovier moments interspersed between more frenetic and lacerating periods, with the guitars hooping continuously between a low-tuned palm-muted, high-pitched shrieks and a more epic fretwork that exudes a tolerable amount of melody. Perhaps the most accurate description of Locusta’s sound would be Amon Amarth crossed with Immolation, “2012” is clearly a song that nods at the Swedes with a guitar work that exhibits an epic quality and borders on classic heavy-metal.
The press release mentions a black-metal influence, which I really cannot detect. There’re although some prog elements evidenced throughout several moments of the album, especially when Locusta pick up their acoustic guitars, but they sound more like isolated tryouts than an integral part of their sound.
The vocals are of the cookie monster variety, really low, guttural and sadly interchangeable, clearly one of the downsides of “Locusta”, yet on the overall it’s securely a solid death-metal record capable of pleasing fans of The Chasm, Kataklysm and Severed Saviour among others.

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For Fans of: Immolation, Amon Amarth, The Chasm, Kataklysm, Severed Saviour