DESECRATION (eng): “Process of Decay” Lp Cd 2007 Copro/Epitomite

Desecration - Process of DecayThis album by Englishmen Desecration has the big flaw of starting out with a few seconds of bare drum beats without any backing string instruments. I consider this a flaw becouse the sound of the drums on this album is really atrocious, worthy of the worse Vomit Remnants or Infected Malignity. That said, one has to clarify that the music itself is oddly totally different from what one could expect from the drum sound, as we don’t have routine “cold” star and stripes Brutal Death Metal like the Japanese do. Desecration play a good mxcture of Death and a touch of Grind with raw guitar sound and growling vocals. Ollie’s vocals are excellent and possibly the best thing in the album : ogre-deep at times, at others phlegmy and disgusting or even piglike. The riffs themselves are not always top notch, the mid tempo power chords placed at regular intervals in every song are a bit too “aggro” “Machine Head” for my delicate tastes, but in general I have managed to appreciate the album from start to finish – there is also a good share of relentless accelerations and incomprehensible grunts which generally raise the heaviness of the work.  I don’t remember much of the previous albums but I remember I liked the 7″ quite a bit – I cannot really trace any parallel right now. All I want to stress is that I would really appreciate if they cut away all this terrible stop and go palm muting stuff, it’s really unnecessary.  

The idea of writing an album on the concept of a decomposing body reminds me of The Todeskings (the cult Buttgereit movie dedicated to Death and decomposition), and reading the singer Ollie has some professional first hand experience on the file of dead bodies, I assume the lyrics could have been an interesting read. We don’t often read true English people writing lyrics. Pity.

The cover art and layout are also quite appalling, garish and plain, with wrongly placed graphic elemnts, terrible cheap photoshop effects, and grossly depixelated pictures. Epitomite should consider changing graphic artist.

VV.AA.: “3-Way Penetration” compilation Cd 2007 Rotten Roll

3 Way PenetrationGermany’s Cunt Grinder surely give a lesson in perseverance to all those bands impatient of getting a contract on some random label (not that today it’s such a difficult thing). They have self produced 5 (or 4, depending on the source) full length albums so far (!!!) before hitting this 3 way split on Rotten Roll (I am 100% sure this is the second label that I know with this name, the old one was from South America or something – I need to check my archives). Apart from a funny G. G. Allin cover “Kill the Police”, their 8 song share consists in solid, phlegmy Death/Grind with a lot of cool vocal overlapping. I was not able to understand all these fucking German intros but I guess  they have to do with some misogynist talk which I always share (ehe). Bitching apart, here is a good dose of classic porno-gore-grind mid tempo chug, the cool thing is that instead of using the standard Dead/Gut sick grunt formula, here we have several sick vocals that overlap and give an overall feeling of bestial orgy. There are actually some faster beats but I won’t define them as blasting.  All these tracks are quite cool actually, sludgy without sounding a CBT clone, and enough Death Metal to have a concrete structure. I’d give them a 7.

Satan’s Revenge of Mankind (always from Germany) instead didn’t impress me much with their previous full-length album, so dangerously close to the plainness of the routine goregrind of Space Shiters. These tracks, however are somewhat cooler. The snare drum has now a sound so damn clanky that it makes Pungent Stench sound like Sepultura, but I still like it. The sludgy, slow parts are deliciously German in style (CBT, Bitch Infection etc.), and actually there are real fast blasts ripping the songs away from a perennial mid tempo. The vocals are grace and damnation of ths side however, sometimes decently frog-like, but at times they really sound a bit struggling -gone are however, the real terrible barks a la Bestial Devastation – thanks Satan! There may be no really memorable moments in this SROM side, but these tracks are nonetheless cool German mid paced fun – optimal for slamming rhytmically the arms in the air like an idiot at a beer fest. Good shit to hear when drunk, even if even I have to admit this stuff is a bit inflated these days. 6.50 in my book.

In my opinion Hymen Holocaust (Holland) hits the right spot a bit harder than the two disc mates. Their sound is so sick and sewage, the distortion fermenting with rot and grime, I cannot but feel some sympathy for this son of a bitch. The riffs are actually a bit boring taken singularly, but the song flow is reinforced by the messy sound and a super sick array of gargling vocals. This is a band that plays Goregrind the way I see it, with a disgusting vocal style that really sounds as if the singer is about to puke anytime. I have no idea how artificial they are, but the final effect is quite good. To tell the truth, I am not a huge fan of Cliteater, and to me this Hymen Holocaust project sounds a bit better than the main band. Contrarily to the previous bands also, there is no sign of bulldozing German chugs, but have instead a more omogeneous Brutal Death/Grind sound with some slow chunks of slam galore scattered in. Seven fifty, sir.

The layout of this Cd is cheap beyond belief, main weak point of this release. As normal for recent goregrind releases, it just looks cheap. The choice of colors is appalling, and even if for once all the images seem to be the right resolution, the way the elements are placed are almost as bad as old Necroharmonic Cds. I guess it’s time for goregrind to start curing a bit more its looks.

Apocalypse Command updates.

Today I finally received the copies I was awaiting for so long, the Apocalypse Command Ep. After over two months of wait, I got a deadline from the factory: the package should have finally be delivered the 28th of August. Instead, it was finally delivered today, over 2 weeks later. Cool. It is surely worth the wait after all.

Imagine how happy I was then, when picking the records out from the boxes, I realized that 1) The cover was made in black and white instead of black and red as instructed. 2) THERE ARE NO LYRICS PRINTED IN THE INNER COVER. THE WHOLE INTERIOR IS BLANK. Now I am discussing with the factory if they are going to replace the whole records or just the sleeves (since the label on the records, too, are wrongly printed in black and white instead of red/black. Obviously, the paper is not 80 grams as requested either. But that’s routine.

I really wanted to start sending away these eps and finally reveal details on the new release… but until this situation is not cleared, I will not write anything else.

ATROCITY (USA-Ct): “Contaminated” Ep Cd 2007 Open Grave

Atrocity - ContaminatedHey! This is indeed a welcome surprise. I was not sure if this was the same Atrocity from Connecticut that I knew, but aquick glimpse at the logo and my doubt disappeared. I have known this band since the self-produced 7″ recorded on Hogbitch something like 18 years ago, I thought the world entire forgot about them! I was indeed curious to know what happened to these guys, but I quickly lost all hope. While the two records were well distributed here in Italy (they ended up in almost every 2nd hand vinyl store in the country – grindcore was never a big thing), I really do not remember of having read many interviews or news in underground publications. It just seemed to be one of those bands which just hover at the borders of the scene. A pity indeed becouse the grindcore they produced was of quite neat quality.

So. The band is back. But before concentrating on new material the guys from Torrington have decided to rehearse some old songs and update the form to year 2007. Well… we have been lucky. No overproduction, no trendy emo dissonance, no cheap aggro metal riffs. Atrocity has returned in terrific shape. They got the good taste of not washing the sound at all. The trademark classy vocals and raspy guitar sound are all here. If one looks for South American noisecore I am afraid this band could seem a bit outdated, or maybe not too fast, but I think it’s the sublime commistion of two genres going hand in hand that makes this new stuff brilliant and fresher than ever. The vocal style is reminiscent of fucking Terrorizer/Nausea and even early Morbid Angel if you know what I mean. Great shit, distorted but powerful. They might have no impossible all out blasts but the riffs are powerful in their simplicity especially when the guitar sound reminds so much of Sadus‘ “Illusions” (well, to my ears at least). Good grind/death from the past, the main flaw is that it is too short, I really need more from this band – hopefully we could hear some brand new tracks soon! Good to see the lyrics have been reported in the booklet, they are standard antisocial grindcore lyrics but worth a read.

The packaging is also quite bare but very clean and stilys, must be the best one I have seen so far from Open Grave. Besides, support the label and buy this Ep, they are doing a good job and are very active despite the relatively young age!

INTERMENT (swe): “Conjuration of the Sepulchral” split Cd with FUNEBRARUM (USA-Nj) 2007 Conqueror of Thorns

Funebrarum IntermentFuck, the Swedish guitar sound a la Entombed/Carnage always makes me cum like Peter North on acid. Interment is a band that really sound like it was taken straight from 1990. It is great to hear that they did not lose the touch despite the passage of time, a lot (almost all) of the bands that were formed the same year as Interment completely lost “it” by the mid nineties. Maybe they just fell into hybernation and they still think we’re in the year 1990 ah ah! Guess what a surprise when they receive letters without flyers and find out that Entombed plays commercial shit and Matti Karki has turned fat again.

The sound, the rhytm, the general writing and even the lyrics are all taken straight from the golden age of Death Metal, and I do not mean Interment sounds like a relatively recent band with a vintage sound (take Deathevokation of Pentacle) – it is a band really sound exactly like a band from that period. I even found some traces of early Napalm Death sonorities, Autopsy and other trhash/grind acts from the 80’s in the mix, and these are influences that modern band trying to play vintage just don’t have, period. The vocals are not terribly deep (also in typical Swedish way), and for once you will be able to discern the phrasing without reading the booklet. But the killer part in this release is the guitarwork which is HUGE, with all those vaguely harmonic riffs a la late Nihilist or Dismember, grossly fat sound and all the headbanging rage of lost centuries (now tell me “Breeding Spawn” is not a Carnage song).

Madame et Monsieurs, another release not to be missed.  Killer Death Metal lyrics as well, totally flawless. 

FUNEBRARUM (USA-Nj): “Conjuration of the Sepulchral” split Cd with INTERMENT (swe) 2007 Conqueror of Thorns

Funebrarum IntermentSo Funebrarum is finally back after the brilliant full length “Beneath the Columns of Abandoned Gods” released 6 years ago and the deluxe gatefuld 7″ “Dormant Hallucinations” which I sadly skipped (for a serie of reasons I won’t go through right now). It has to e pointed out how this band actually preceded a few years the recent “old school” gimmick of the last 2-3 years, as it was really the first release to completely and courageously tribute the old Finnish/Swedish scene on an album that is close to perfection.

Releasing these two new songs as a split with Interment is surely a fitting choice as the band is still obsessed with the glorious and majestic sound of early nineties Finnish/Swedish Death Metal (which is my favourite genre ever as well by the way). Everything on these few minutes is still sweating old school grime, crusts and mold, and is as dark as the deepest zombie hole – and the sound is now, if possible, even slower and crunchier than before, resulting in a sticky web of sonorities that almost seem as if the tracks were recorded at 45rpm and played at 33. Like said before, there are only two new tracks in the album, considering one of the other 3 is an intro and the two remaining Abhorrence and Grave covers. I would use the same words that I used when I described their previous album but actually something has changed in the Funebrarum sound, and it’s that they have become much darker and heavier since the last time. The vocals are now very, very deep and the sound really fat and clogged by bass frequencies. I really love the new sound even if the riffs, by the contrary, seem a little bit less sicker and twisted.

 The cover art is still done by the most supreme of the vintage artists Chris Moyen, even though there is a sligth blue/violet filter over it which seems quite odd – I’d have preferred pure black and white a release like this. But anyway this is meant to be a “nocturnal” release so I’ll go for the dark night shades. All the influences by bands like Abhorrence, Funebre, Purtenance etc are still huge here, so if you want good shit one must really check this out.

VV.AA. (n/a): “Reincremation” split Cd-r 2007 Nihilistic Holocaust

ReincremationNew round from Nihilistic Holocaust, afterthe superb three way wit Hateful, Impureza and Hellspawn. France might have second rate football teams, cheese and wine compared to Italy (eh eh) but surely has a generally better grind and death metal scene – from bands to zines to labels. I have deep respect for this guy Gabriel from Nihilistic Holocaust becouse you can really feel his enthusiasm and deication, he does a superlative zine and fuck, his label is also doing high quality – no nonsense releases.

That said, I am a bit disappointed by these new Impureza tracks. The band has undergone a really heavy stylistical turn since the previous songs I remember. The songs are now sung in Spanish (?) and have even a load of flamenco (!) intermezzos in the middle, plus several structural references to latin music which, while executed in a flawless manner, I really found a bit too much for my narrow tastes. I have listened to these tracks more than once but cannot really get into them. Might be becouse I really find all latin music boring and unnerving and I also don’t really like the language too. If you separate the bollocks, the band still has the full force crunch it had in the past, but I am more into Morbid Angel than Atheist if you know what I mean. Political 6 – just for the spirit. Superior musicianship and excellent recording make these tracks quite interesting. The third track is a real blast though – have a listen.

“Full Metal Jacket” has been inflated a bit for intros but is always fun to hear. It’s a good introduction to Sweden’s Arsonist, whose name made me run for cover in fear of hearing some emo haircut sissies playing the Dillinger Escape Plan clones. No shit, Arsonist instead play pure Death Metal the Nihilistic Holocaust way (it’s becoming a mark of quality) – this means no aimless baggy pant brutal chugging, but just pure Death Metal killer riffs, powerful vocals and a good balance  of solos. Some riffs remind me of old Cannibal Corpse but this really do not end here – staying in Swedish ground one might even collect moments of Genocrush Ferox, Strangulation and Immersed in Blood. The bass guitar has a massive sound but it just wraps the tracks in a distinctive sick low saturate vibe instead of just popping out in the middle like in Primus. Arsonist is good stuff, brutal in an old fashioned way without sounding retro. Brutal riffs, deep growls and power riffs abound, neat shit indeed. I would shoot a full 8.

Sudden Death have among the worse song titles in the world in this split (I”nsert Coin”?? “Broken Wings”??) but compared to Arsonist they’re somewhat faster, even if characterized by a gently rougher – almost garageish recording. While powerful and fast, I am not convinced 100% by the vocals but that does not mean they’re not good, just not competely deep as the previous bands so they just might sound a bit odd in the 4 way. The riffs are not amazing either, even if the songs are carefully balanced in terms of power chords and hyperblasting. The slower to mid-tempo parts – that have historically made Italy the worse country in the world in this field of Thrash/Death – are here too not overly catchy, so the songs just seem a bit flat even tough we’re on good levels in general. I’d drop the mid tempos and cure the faster parts more, or a potentially good band like this risks to end like Obscenity or Pavor in the limbo of routine German Death Metal… 7 nonetheless.

I haven’t heard the full length from Ingurgitating Oblivion but I remember this band was good, just did not remember HOW good it was. This is just the kind of pure 100% Florida Death Metal with the right share of demoniac vibrations and hyperbrutal sound. Darkness and fury unleashed. I could compare this band to our Hour of Penance, they’re really fucking killer. It’s been a while since I haven’t heard good shit like this. I could cite Serpents Aeon, Pessimist, Diabolic to give a rough idea of what kind of muzak we’re talking about – really impressive shit. 9,00 in my book.

I have really appreciated Gabriel’s personal creation on the cover of this Cd, much better than the old one. I just am not sure if this split is on Cd-r or if it’s just the promo copies that have been home burned. But I’d go for the first since my one is hand numbered (#143 of?). To sum it up – I wish there were more compilations like this…