Premiere: Killibrium’s “Vigilante” Death Metal Justice
Finally, after years of tracking your quarry through blinding snow and scorching heat, from seedy criminal dens to opulent houses of corporate greed, over dizzying heights and across international borders, you isolated your prey. Finally you would fulfill your oath and lay the dead to rest. He was careful, but you were dogged, determined; nothing save retribution could sate your hatred and heartache. So at last you cornered him in some forgotten town where he had no friends left to call. You caught up to him as he relieved himself in the blinding afternoon light. He was surprised. And alone. And mercifully, finally, vulnerable. As he knelt in the swirling dust, fear and recognition burning his eyes and sowing tears in the soil to water the seeds of vengeance he planted so long ago when he murdered your family for profit, you held his gaze and pronounced his sentence. Death by Killibrium at the hands of the “Vigilante.”
If you had told me a few years ago that the Indian subcontinent would soon become a booming hotbed for some of the most brutal and vitriolic death metal around, I would have responded, “Hey, that’s super rad. Tell me more!” Few could have predicted, however, just how hard vigilantes like Killibrium would hit with their mercenary style of street justice riffs and rabid, unrelenting rage. The Mumbai quartet’s debut EP is nearly upon us, and all who stand in the way will be brought low. Today I’m pleased as hell to unleash “Vigilante,” the fourth of six tracks from their upcoming public execution, Purge.
While there’s much to praise about this track, from the blistering harmonics to the absolutely massive, drop-tuned groove to the hideous stutter-step riffs accented by a throbbing, gristly snare, what strikes me most about it just how well it’s all written and executed. “Vigilante” is a track that will appeal to death metal fans young and old, from the lowliest gutter dwellers jamming BDM bands like Brodequin to the fart-sniffin’est elitists who yammer on about narrative structure on DMU boards, and everyone in between. Throughout the track’s just-right length, Killibrium morph from riff to riff and idea to idea without ever feeling aimless or too worshipful. Fans of old school death metal like Pestilence will enjoy the arcing thump of the rhythms early in the track while dissonant perverts will love the way the guitars slide and slither around corners near the end of the track.
By the time vocalist Rajan sneers out his final “Keeeeeilllll!” everyone in the room will be growling along, entranced by universally-headbangable death metal. Finally, justice is served.
Edit: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the album had three tracks. This has been corrected.