Subterfuge is the newest EP from Brisbane ‘Death & Roll’ duo TENSIION. Written as a reflection on the hellhole that was 2020, Subterfuge proves that at least some good things came out of lockdown. In this whirlwind 15 minutes of an EP TENSIION have put together a collection of four solid, brutal, and groovy tunes (Plus a totally ripping edition of Negative Approach’s ‘Friend or Foe’).
The cover of ‘Friend or Foe’ feels very appropriate for this EP. In the four original songs on this EP TENSIION have delivered an extremely pleasing combination of death metal, particularly influencing the growling vocals and chunky guitar tone, and hardcore riffage, with some excellent breakdowns and groove-filled verses. This is highlighted in the opener of the EP with ‘Complicit’, one of my personal favourites on the record. The intro atmosphere gives way to some solid, powerful riffs which turn into one of the catchiest verses on the EP. The vocals on this track are standout, slipping seamlessly into the groove of the track despite their delicious brutality, a theme that continues throughout the whole record.
‘End Transmission’ is another fantastic tune. This song (and to an extent the whole record) gives me strong Jungle Rot vibes, which I mean in the best possible way. The slow riff in the breakdown is guaranteed to start a mosh no matter where you are listening and the stabbing groovy riffs had me wanting to start a circle pit in my living room. The album closer, the aforementioned ‘friend or foe’ cover is fantastic. I am a massive fan of mixing metal and hardcore and this cover does it perfectly. Violent moshing is assured.
Overall, this EP is very heavy but also has some clear headbanging moments that anyone who has an ear for riffs will love. Fans of death metal who like adding a bit of groove to their mosh will have a great time listening to this release. I’d be really interested to see how these dudes pull off their songs live so please let’s see a Melbourne show soon (s seated COVID safe show of course)
Release Year: 2021
Reviewed by Jarrad Fisher