Hailing from England, the rather specifically titled Their Sprawling Bodies Imperfectly Embalmed is Neandertahl's third EP release since the bands inception in 2005 and sees the band honing their technical death metal sound. What is pleasantly surprising though is that Neandertahl often take a slightly less sledgehammer approach to their brand of death, using Opeth style acoustic interludes to punctuate the heavy duty passages. Even when they do use force over subtlety, it's not at the expense of their technically astute interplay and vocally Darren Lavery employs a deep rasping style rather than the all out growl that so many bands use.
Right from the off this EP impresses with some decidedly smart musicianship and arrangements, "Usurper in the Dark" has a brutal heavy groove that is interlaced with some inventive lead work from guitarists Aleem Raza and Stu Pendergrast that also give Lavery's bass skills the chance to shine and Aleem's brother Shakeel rounds things off nicely with tight dexterous drumming.
"Mother and Father" with its tempo changes and excellent twin lead outro ups the ante and the beautiful clean guitar mid section adds just the right amount of drama and whilst "The Crawling Chaos" continues the head mashing heaviness, it also throws in the curve ball of a short almost flamenco section that illustrates that Neandertahl are willing to take the odd risk and challenge the listeners to keep up. All the more impressive when it is sandwiched between one of the best guitar attacks on the EP.
With its stop start beat and wailing guitar "Timeless Guardian" does lose focus a little and the melding of the brain pummelling snare drilling to the more subtle feel does come over as a little forced. However "The Mountain Moves" uses that stop start approach much more effectively, allowing Shakeel to hammer home his best performance on the disc and Lavery to pin down the wild guitars with his solid bass work and hard hitting vocals.
It may have taken Neandetahl almost five years to put out three EP's, however with the maturity shown on Their Sprawling Bodies Imperfectly Embalmed a full length release must be next on their agenda.
1. Usurper in the Dark
2. Mother and Father Deep
3. The Crawling Chaos
4. Timeless Guardian
5. The Mountain Moves