It's unclear exactly when the Mexican death metal outfit Grotesque Deity came into existence, but if you go by their Facebook timeline, it could be placed around early 2014, maybe late 2013. Since formation, the band has put their time in with live shows and writing new material, which includes the "You Were Flesh" demo track they streamed on-line. For 2015, the five-piece entered the studio to lay down what has become their debut EP, Bloodream, which was handled by Infernal Devastation Records. But is this first outing a promising one, or is it better left buried in the depths from which it sounds as though it were excavated from?

Bloodream stands as a largely analog recording, bellowing from the depths with a deep, pulsating bass presence behind heavily distorted low-tuned guitars that often show a melodic brutality akin to Swedish death metal giants Dismember. The subtle grooves of "Lord of Torment" shows off this presence, though the song itself is buried further in the mix than some later tracks. The gutturals are almost indecipherable, sometimes aiming for an intimidating snarl, though the impact of it is lost a bit due to how far back the performance sounds. Thankfully, this doesn't impact the eeriness the largely mid-tempo performance carries, especially in the bridge at the two and a half minute mark that leads to a solid guitar solo that isn't the most awe-inspiring, but nicely suits the haunting nineties approach the band seems to be going for here. "In Dim Abysses" pushes that snarling a little further in the mix, laying off the bass guitar a bit for some two-step pattern that sound both as sinister and vile as early Autopsy releases.

Of course, the group has their moments of channelling some mid-career Carcass. "Field Drinks Blood" isn't exactly the most engaging track of the EP, though some of the chugs and simpler doom metal pacing from time to time are respectable, leaving just enough in the lines of infectious material to keep the listening engaged above the somewhat deeper bass guitar presence. The conclusion, however, does show off some riffs similar to "Cross My Heart" by the aforementioned group. "Bloodream" keeps that trudging aspect alive between spurts of early Possessed-grade riffs that throw a hint of thrash metal into the mix for good measure as well.

For a debut EP, Bloodream is a pretty good effort, though it is missing one thing: Enthusiasm. Of course the slower, doom heavy passages won't have much of that aspect at work for the sake of creating a miserable eeriness, but when the speed does find itself amped up, even to a steady mid-tempo, it seems as though the band was kind of bored while recording their parts. The only time you genuinely get a sensation of excitement in the mix is during the bonus track "You Were Flesh", which isn't quite as deep and pulsing as the rest, allowing the guitars a chance to really come through and put some energy into the mix that is lacking everywhere else for the sake of bludgeoning bass-driven brutality. Had that "cavernous" sensation been toned down a bit, Bloodream would be something to get a little more excited over. But, as it stands, Grotesque Deity do show off they have the chops to engage the listener, and there's no doubt these songs will, and do, probably slay when done live. If you're into death metal with some hints of thrash and a bit of grind here and there, Bloodream is something worth checking out.

Review originally posted at Apoch's Metal Review.