Album Review – Vistery / Death Is Dead (2018)

The new album by this ruthless squad hailing from the Belarusian capital Minsk has everything you crave in old school, crushing Death Metal.

Hailing from the Belarusian capital Minsk, here comes a ruthless Death Metal squad comprised of Ivan “Paranoid” on vocals, Aleksey “Wicked” on the guitars, Alexander “Soulless” on bass and Sergiy “Def” on drums, collectively known as Vistery, ready to crush our heads with their third full-length installment, titled Death Is Dead. Featuring a nocturnal artwork by Mosaeye, Death Is Dead is highly recommended for fans of the violent music by bands like Unleashed, Vader, Entombed and Grave, exhaling hatred and sounding as heavy as hell, which translates into the perfect soundtrack for your anti-social and anti-religious activities.

Vistery started by the end of 2010 as a solo project of Alexey “Wicked” Kizillo, who performed as a guitar player, drummer and vocalist with a number of bands in Minsk for several years, finally reaching the shape and form of a classic Death Metal band in the beginning of 2011. The following two years were very productive for Vistery with the release of two full-length albums, those being Procreation of the Wicked, in 2011, and Sinister Prophecy, in 2012. However, due to unforeseen issues such as several changes in the band’s lineup, Vistery went on a performing hiatus until 2017, when they returned to stage in Vitebsk, followed by the 7th anniversary celebration gig in Minsk. That renewed lineup inspired the band to record a new album, culminating with the pulverizing Death Is Dead now in 2018.

Ominous background noises and the groovy bass by Soulless kick off the vicious intro Winds Of Devastation, where Paranoid manically roars its cryptic lyrics (“Can you see the trees bowing helplessly / In the wake of a devastating power / Can you hear this howl / Rupture your eardrums / Unrelenting pressure / No relief to come”) before all hell breaks loose in Tormentor, a crushing and thunderous Death Metal hymn with tons of progressiveness flowing from Def’s beats and Wicked’s damned riffs, resulting in a dense feast of aggressive sounds perfect for breaking your neck headbanging. Then featuring guest guitarist Anton Smirnov (Goose Enough, Like a Gossamer) we have Rotting Earth, a mid-tempo Death Metal extravaganza spiced up by Progressive Death Metal elements where Soulless keeps smashing our brains with his visceral punches. And are you ready for the most violent and gruesome picnic ever? That’s what the quartet offers you in Picnic Party, with highlights to the deep and brutal work done by both Soulless and Def with their vile instruments.

In Omniphobic, the lyrics reek of old school Death Metal (“I can see your fear of death / Poisoning your every breath / Flight would be your primal instinct / If only your legs weren’t so rigid”) while the music remains as brutish as possible, with Soulless extracting low-tuned, hellish tones form his bass (not to mention the nonstop  smashing beats by Def); followed by Swamp, where the entire band delivers a more rockin’ sonority, even flirting with Melodic Death Metal, spearheaded by the demonic guttural vocals by Paranoid. Moreover, all instruments feel like they were “blessed” by Satan himself, including Paranoid’s vocals, sounding as dark and deep as Death Metal can be. Then it’s time to “die” together with this talented Belarusian act in Die From Within, showcasing great performances by Wicked with his flammable riffs and Soulless with his thunderous bass, while Paranoid roars and gnarls like a true demon, whereas in Black Magic an uncanny intro evolves into brutal devastation led by Def’s frantic beats and fills, getting heavier and more menacing as the music progresses and, therefore, being recommended for admirers of old school, putrid Death Metal, all embraced by a rumbling and obscure vibe.

Guest musician Anton Smirnov returns with his fiery guitar in Mortal Fear, a mid-tempo creation where the whole band is on fire, blasting a thrilling fusion of violence, groove and progressiveness, with Wicked’s guitar reminding me of the always amazing riffs by Cannibal Corpse, and Vistery will make sure your head is smashed with a hammer in Butchery, the perfect depiction of what their music is all about, sounding and feeling heavy, groovy and exciting form start to finish. Furthermore, Paranoid steals the spotlight with his deep roars, helping it become the best song of the album in my humble opinion. And the title-track Death Is Dead is just as thunderous and vibrant as the rest of the album, with the bass punches by Soulless getting more menacing than before. Put differently, there was no better way to end the album than with this ode to classic Death Metal.

If you need to listen to Death Is Dead in full before making the decision of purchasing it and supporting underground Death Metal made in Belarus, you can enjoy the album in its entirety on the band’s own website, on YouTube and on Spotify, but if you’re already familiar with the band’s music and can’t wait to add such demented album to your personal collection, you can get it from the band’s BandCamp page, from iTunes or from Amazon. In addition, don’t forget to follow Vistery on Facebook and VKontakte, and subscribe to their YouTube channel, showing the entire world Death Metal is still alive and kicking, with bands like Vistery leading the underworld hordes of devastation with their old school music like what they offer in Death Is Dead.

Best moments of the album: Picnic Party, Black Magic and Butchery.

Worst moments of the album: Rotting Earth.

Released in 2018 Independent

Track listing
1. Winds Of Devastation 1:50
2. Tormentor 2:56
3. Rotting Earth 3:27
4. Picnic Party 3:09
5. Omniphobic 3:39
6. Swamp 4:00
7. Die From Within 2:49
8. Black Magic 3:08
9. Mortal Fear 3:23
10. Butchery 3:02
11. Death Is Dead 3:01

Band members
Ivan “Paranoid” – vocals
Aleksey “Wicked” – guitars
Alexander “Soulless” – bass
Sergiy “Def” – drums

Guest musician
Anton Smirnov – guitar solos on “Rotting Earth” and “Mortal Fear”

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