Necrospective: CANNIBAL CORPSE

It’s been a while since the last time I wrote something on this “blogzine” or however you want to call it. As I supposed even from the beginning the videoreviews just didn’t click, so I am going to revert back to good, honest, old school written reviews, like usual. I haven’t been completely idle all this time actually since I have been writing some stuff for a new issue of the paper version of NA (out some day) but I felt like kicking a bit of dust here with another necrospective. As you might remember from the last one, necrospectives generally are about bigger, less underground bands, I can’t see the need to make extensive biographies on obscure bands even if I might consider that as well one day. Every music writer holds the hidden desire to write about classic albums so here it is a long story about one of the most uncompromising bands of the genre. I wish I could find the interview i did with Corpsegrinder i did on the band’s van in 1996 but I can’t find that old mini tape, if it shows up one day though, it would be a lot of fun to rip it on mp3, even just for my atrocious English (now that I think about it I brough the tape to English class ahah).

It’s quite obvious but worth remembering that these reviews are not objective nor written with the competent ear of a professional. Since I don’t believe in “musical journalism” at all I will try to describe the impression I got from these records the day I bought them and how they just influenced my own life when and if they did. Take all these reviews with a pinch of salt.

I think I’ll just bypass the demo, singles, EPs and live albums since we have plenty of full length studio albums to dissect.

Eaten Back To Life – Metal Blade 1990 (7,5/10)

EBL

I listened to Chris’ old band Leviathan some time before this album was released on a Metal Forces compilation although I never connected the two Chris Barnes were one and the same until a few years later, uh. “Eaten Back To Life” is a good album, a little thrashier and a bit brighter than the two following monsters that followed it, but good nonetheless. The lyrics were already spot on: high on gore elements involving car crashes, psychos eating cadavers and of course the band’s main theme – zombies. You might have noticed it but every Cannibal Corpse album has at least one song about zombies, starting from this one. For the time this album was quite a shock as few bands actually brought the theme of extreme splatter to these levels. Overally speaking I liked the album a lot, spun it endless times, even though the vocal patterns sometimes just sounded a bit too plain, something however the band completely fixed with their next album, THE real masterpiece.

Butchered At Birth – Metal Blade Records 1991 (10/10)

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Starting from the greatest cover ever, and one of the best covers in the Death Metal world in general, with that thick, almost three-dimensional feel, this album is all in all the best stuff this band ever released in my opinion, listening to Butchered at Birth is like being inside that cover, some forgotten gore covered dungeon cell with zombie doctors butchering pregnant victims. This album has no space for breathing, it’s so grimy the air itself feels thick when it spins. This is one of the albums I’d save should I decide to cut all my record collection to just a shelf. Complete masterpiece. Only problem I had with Butchered at Birth was that it didn’t include lyrics so I had to mail a friend who got a Xerox from France to finally be able to read it. Third generation copies ahah. I think the original one came from their fan club, I had one of those letters years ago and I recall the frame was amazing, I even used that for a couple of concert flyers. Not a lot to add, this is a perfect album, flawless from (severed( head to toes.

I just realized I already did a review of this album long ago, here is the link.
http://win.nuclearabominations.com/reviews_detail.asp?id=488

Tomb Of The Mutilated – Metal Blade Records 1992 (9,5/10)

R-7532710-1443438525-4667.jpegObjectively, from my perspective, THIS is the best album Cannibal Corpse ever recorded. With Tomb these guys just progressed from the path paved on the previous album and took the whole package to an entirely new level of extreme. Even more graphic than before, somehow darker, everything on this album is perfect, not just artwork and music, but the lyrics (this time with some sexual elements) too are so sick they manage to touch some nerves. I honestly felt the album was not as claustrophobic as the previous one, but what it lacks in thickness, it gained in gory, creepy feel. Even if I should rate it higher that Butchered, I consider it a hairline lower in my own personal agenda. Barnes vocals are as dark and deep as ever, but I think in Butchered they just had that extra punch. Some songs are memorable and well, I just can’t find any real weak spot to mention here, it’s a huge classic.

The Bleeding – Metal Blade Records 1994 (5,5/10)

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I don’t know if it was the lack or Rusay that left the band before this album, but I was totally disappointed by The Bleeding. I remember I got the vinyl from a record store in Bologna and I was skeptical from the start because the cover was just a big gash instead of that Locke galore I was expecting, I hoped for something over the top and all I got was a small detail from the artwork that could be seen on the back of the sleeve. I spun it a couple of times before realizing this album was giving me absolutely nothing. Barnes vocals this time were way too clear, almost sounding like a bark, and the riffing was not as tight as before, it sounded as if the band was trying to go on the wrong direction although not in a disgraceful way as a lot of their contemporaries. Listening to The Bleeding recently I realized I don’t dislike it as much as I did when I bought it, however it’s just way inferior to the two masterpieces that predated it. I still don’t like much Barnes vocals here, but I think he was starting to work on an idea that would soon turn ito that shit band called Six Feet Under. Luckily enough, the shittiest parts of this album drifted to SFU leaving space for a more than decent follow up, “Vile”.

Vile – Metal Blade Records 1996 (7,0)

R-386365-1412423353-6326.jpegI was completely surprised to hear Barnes was leaving Cannibal, so much so that I still envision Barnes when I think of the bend even if he left over 20 years ago. But I was even more puzzled by hearing they engaged Monstrosity’s singer, whose vocal style was not just different but right the opposite of the static grunting of Barnes that was characteristic of that early incarnation of CC. Corpsegrinder’s a singer that articulates and modulates his vocals a lot, how could they fit him to sing old CC material? Luckily the band first came to Italy just a few weeks after this album hit the stores, so I could see it by myself (and this is also where I managed to have that interview with George I mentioned before) and what could I say? The guy was a great replacement, even though the style changed dramatically to fit his vocal style from early on. I later heard three songs recorded for “Vile” with Barnes on voals and honestly I heard few things so uninspired, weak and shitty as those. Maybe just Six Feet Under suck that bad, but I can dare to say these songs were even worse. Was he already planning to leave the band before being kicked out? We’ll never know for sure. “Vile” in se is a good album for me, it might have some songs like “Bloodlands” that feel like they’ve been written a bit too hastily but there are some others like “Puncture Wound Massacre” which are real killers. All in all not the pinnacle of the band, but good stuff nonetheless.

Gallery Of Suicide – Metal Blade Records 1998 (7,5)

R-510732-1127665124.jpegWell, this album offically greets version 2.0 of the band. While “Vile” sounded like they were still reasoning how to incorporate Fisher’s vocals to their sound,”Gallery” shows the band’s new ugly face to the world. Pat O’ Brien also chimed in to replace Rob Barrett and the cover art is the first real sign that Locke was changing his style radically even though the work is excellent save for an horrible glow effect on title and that new logo we already saw on “Vile” (Barnes owned the right on the old logo, meh). This albums also mark my departure from the band, not because it’s a bad album, but because at the time I was completely into obscure underground acts and generally was considering these albums “safe to get later”, if you know what I mean. Gallery of Suicide is a good massacre in my book, thicker and darker than Vile, and a decisive evolving of that album’s sound carefully tailored on the Corpsegrinder’s inimitable throat-ripping. Like said before, the evolution in songwriting shows us a different Cannibal Corpse here, with a wider range of solutions and ideas that sometime border on experimental. I have read bad things about the album’s production, possibly because there’s no Burns behind the band from now on, but I personally can’t find anything wrong here, “muddy” to me is Ok if we talk about Detah Metal. You want to hear a “too muddy”, underproduced album? Check out “Breeding the Spawn”, or “Death Metal” by Dismember, certainly not this one.

Bloodthirst – Metal Blade Records 1999 (8)
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Layout and graphics aside, this album delivers badly the new Cannibal as fit as ever. I am definitely not a sound technician nor I care much at all, but it’s impressive how everything in this album just stands out neatly, including Webster’s monster bass-work and Corpsegrinder’s words of hate. It also goes a bit beyond that, as the orchestral work also extends to the song writing as well. This might be a mature peak for a band that is known mostly for its uncompromising discipline and dedication to brutal music. It should be remarked that the end of the 90’s was also the time a lot of the second wave of Brutal Death Metal bands started to flower expecially in the States, a genre so loved and despised by many even today. I personally feel both emotions today, preferring the more uncontrolled, chaotic, possibly dirty and ugly sound of punk into my Death Metal, but I also liked a lot of the “cut the shit” attitude of bands during that time lapse that went straight for the deepest, sickest riffs and guttural vocals. It’s a long story that doesn’t change much my opinion on this album, as you can’t really classify it in the Brutal Death galore of that time for reasons both musical and historical. Preachers of the “old school” sound might probably ridicule it, but you know, haters gonna hate.

Gore Obsessed – Metal Blade Records 2002 (7,5)

R-484793-1122801058.jpgAh, this new studio album welcomed the Cannibals in the 21st century. If there’s one thing I like about Gore Obsessed is the feel you get that this album is just a big statement of intent, a giant, middle finger blasted high in the open sky. It gives the impression that they wanted to make it clear they just don’t give a fuck about people complaining about the gory topics they keep singing about and therefore released this album that basically says “we’re gore obsessed, OK, fuck you!”. Which is, well, a statement I can’t help but appreciate. There is not really much to say about this album, aside from the production which is now handled by Neil Kernon. It follows ups where Bloodthirst ended, which is not a problem at all to me. The lyrics are still sick stuff, yet still not as deranged as the Barnes ones, an era which is just gone forever and probably for the best.

The Wretched Spawn – Metal Blade Records 2004 (7,5)

wretchedIt takes a lot of effort not to watch Cannibal Corpse’s hideous new logo with random Photoshop effects layered on top stretched as wide as the whole cover with the same shit applied to the title, giving the whole cover the feel of a total print bootleg shirt bought in the parking lot in front of a venue. I personally am not a fan of Locke’s new style that here shows more accurately as well, with that weird method of mixing unnaturally livid colors, yet the artwork is as graphic as ever (I think they also got some problems with it when it was released but can’t remember properly), so much so it was once again censored in some editions. Musically you it once agains follows up where Gore Obsessed ended, maybe with some more accurate metrics by Fisher, but it’s still solid to the face Death Metal the like the Cannibals got us used to, which is not a bad thing in my book. Blastbeats and intricate riffing? Check. Inhuman vocals with impossible patterns? Check. Gore lyrics and theme? Check.

Kill – Metal Blade Records 2006 (7)

R-1014848-1397840380-2522.jpegWith Barrett (of which I am admittedly no fan – but he basically wrote only one song here) back on rhytm guitars replacing founder Jack Owen our heroes hit the 10th studio album with the minimal-looking Kill. Minimal in looks but not in composition, even though overally this album feels just a bit more uninspired compared to the previous two, Corpsegrinder is the real monster here, with vocals that feel just like out of some cenobite ruled hell of suffering. Production, mixing and engineering are on the shoulders of Erik Rutan this time, resulting in his typically flawless yet a bit plastic sound. The work however is technically superb as all the instruments fall into place clear cut from the rest, which considering the complexity of the songs makes sense.

Evisceration Plague – Metal Blade Records 2009 (7,5)

R-2635632-1294336323.jpegThe cover art on Evisceration Plague is plain terrible, I hoped it was the usual detail of a bigger censored cover but the illustrations on the inner sleeve are even worse, I have to believe Locke scetched this shit during lunchtime thinking about a card game or a teenage book because I really can’t believe it’s the same hand that drew Butchered At Birth. This guy still knows how to do great works, this one is just an evident fail. Yet surprises come in all shapes. This album is in my opinion the best one they have done in the new Millennium right after the following “Torture”. They gained back some of the darkness and harshness of the beginning (just hear the first few seconds of the title track) with some added variety on the songs and a Corpsegrinding vocalist that managed to find interesting patterns on really, really impossible riffs. People consider it a follow up of Kill, I personally like it way better.

Torture – Metal Blade Records 2012 (8,5)

R-3497495-1332760027.jpegWhoah, despite a string of roughly similar albums, the cannibals ultimately delivers their best album since Tomb of the Mutilated here, with a collection of songs that are as varied as heavy and brutal as they’ve never been since Barnes left the band. I basically like all the songs, including the “zombie song” that always appear in each album and this time runs right after the opening track. Heavier sound, fewer tricks, a choice of just a few killer riffs make this album one of the three Cannibal albums I’d keep if I was forced to sell my collection. Great stuff from start to finish, lots of ideas and definitely no fillers. On the contrary, the album might feel a bit more straightforward and simpler, but the magic worked here was to keep just the best stuff to create a few solid songs that each stand on its own, unlinke some of the earlier albums in which each songs sounded a bit like a variation of the same, if you know what I mean. That’s it, top notch experimentation within brutality.

A Skeletal Domain – Metal Blade Records 2014 (7,5)

R-6094283-1410928966-7136.jpegA Skeletal Domain is a good album, it follows up where Torture left, by maintaining the distinctive “new” songwriting style all the while adopting some of the old solutions as well. It’s a mix of Torture and the previous five albums, in a sense. While Torture was a new breed of CC with a lot of the feel of the earlier days but veichled into some interesing concepts, this album somewhat crosses the path with the post Bloothirst era of the band by picking heavily from the compositions and not just the feel. It’s still an album to have like all the Cannibal ones, in my opinion.

OK this is the last one, from just 2 years ago. Whew, Never would I have thought reviewing the whole discography would take a full week, these guys really went through ages in the Death Metal timeline right through the sedimentation rings of sickness and brutality.

Necrospective: DEICIDE

I am getting the hang of doing these Necrospectives (which is a feature I actually contemplated for a long time). This time I am up with a very long list of albums by a fundamental band from my first steps into the world of Death Metal and Grindcore. My views on the subject are quite atypical so I can imagine I’ll have several complaints about the ratings ah, ah. How funny to have a blog about records where you can write anything you wish.

pre-Deicide (Amon 1.0)

Amon, or Aamon, is a great and mightie marques, and commeth abroad in the likenes of a woolfe, having a serpents taile, <spetting out and breathing> [vomiting] flames of fier; when he putteth on the shape of a man, he sheweth out dogs teeth, and a great head like to a mightie <raven> [night hawk]; he is the strongest prince of all other, and understandeth of all things past and to come, he procureth favor, and reconcileth both freends and foes, and ruleth fourtie legions of divels.

– Johann Weyer, De praestigiis daemonum (1577)

symbol of amon

I will be honest here, I don’t remember having heard of Deicide before their self-titled full-length when the name exploded with all its bombastic tongue-in-cheek Satanic propaganda. I only managed to hear the stuff from these two demos a hanful of years later when Roadrunner released the “Amon” compilation (I also have a funny story to tell about going to the Vatican with a longsleeve from that record back in 1993, eh). These recordings however, are SO full of malevolent energy I can’t even properly describe their impact. They certainly have a more Slayerish flow and a somehow thinner sound, but at the same time the vocals are much more malicious. What is lacking in the sheer brutality that is/was the leitmotif of Deicide is replaced by sheer atmosphere, the almost serpentine gargling whispering words of blasphemy immersed in an environment of pops and crackling typical of the old analog media. There is a lot of hidden black energy in these recordings, which places them in my humble opinion on the same, maybe slightly better, position as the debut.

Vote: 9/10

 “Deicide”, 1990

deicide

All the previous Amon tracks have been re-recorded for this debut, with a completely different sound. The crepitating, slithering evilness of the earlier recordings have mutated here in a work maybe less evocative, but definitely of greater impact. The sound is still very dark, especially considered the year in which this album was recorded. At the time Deicide was one of the very few bands widely known beyond the small circle of people with a decent knowledge of underground music currents (that sounds like a million years ago), not just for the gimmicks of using decomposed meat and blood on stage and all the shit about Benton branding an inverted cross on his forehead or alleged suicide at 33, but also for their unique sound that included among the fastest double bass drum in the world. Certainly one could argue about that today, but it was all that people not listening to this music knew: I had some friends into “other scenes” asking for recordings of this album for years. I remember being quite perplexed about the comic book used on the album sleeve, where this monk is being turtured by demons, it just felt so out of place, but taken as a whole the layout was rather effective, front cover sigil and all (wished they stayed on this path anyway).

Deicide was definitely a sensation from day one: massive, fast, no-nonsense. The lyrics on this album are still not very definite, but effective for the aural butchery that is the record. I would say it’s an all time masterpiece, if it had not the unluck of preceding “Legion”.

Vote: 8,5/10

Legion, 1992

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Deicide was a very big blast in the underground in my city as well as all in a sudden I was surrounded by a very dedicated core fandom. I can certainly relate to that: they were killer. It was also one of my first Death Metal gigs ever when they toured with Gorefest in 1992 (my first show was probably Carcass in Rome in 1990 which, strangely enough, also featured Atrocity) and the first time I was realizing that Death Metal was assuming a constant presence in my country as well. Concerts at last were not just anymore attended by drunkards and punks. Then one day I just stepped in the local metal shop and bought this vinyl record. I still vividly remember the horror of seeing the sleeve being chewed by my dog which at the time was a puppy when I was having dinner but placing this album on the record player for the first time was life changing and had me forget everythung – just the same emotion I had the first time I spinned “Reign In Blood”. I knew Deicide already, but this was something entirely different. This was HELL – accurately described in detail and carved in the bones of saints, a masterpiece built on the heads of decapitated holy men. Unholy fucking shit, this album is so razor sharp, obscure and devastating there is no reason why anybody should not own it. It is one of the 5 best Death Metal records of all time, period. Sooooo incredibly inspired. The lyrics are a mix of Satanism and occult lore, free of that shitty tongue in cheek humour of the following records. This record is absolute perfection: it manages to create an immensely powerful evocative picture of an infinite massacre, a land without god where inconocalsm has crushed every single spark of life. I have no words, really, to describe how immensely amazing this album is. It is EVIL incarnate, distilled ona  record. La Fin Absolue du Monde made music.

Vote: 10/10, absolute Masterpiece

Once Upon The Cross, 1995

Deicide in 1995

Deicide in 1995

By the time this record was released, I already perceived some cracks in the freshness and energy of the whole Death Metal movement. Mostly all the big bands of the time had released either mediocre or outright ludicrous albums so my expectation for this new Deicide album were high. But with a grain of salt firmly in my grasp. I started to notice something out of place when I started seeing boys in my school buying Sepultura merchandise and I mean, typically average guys all in a sudden were asking me about Mayhem and Cannibal Corpse, my bullshit detector was very high at the time and this time it was itching terribly. Nothing could have prepared me with the complete delusion that was this album, however. Where the fuck were the dark blades of sound ripping through the flesh of my ears. Where was the eerie gurgling of blood dripping from Benton’s vocals? Why the fuck did they have a comic book Jesus on the cover? What were those ridicolous song names? What the fuck was wrong with the vocals here, and more that everything else, when does the album START? Hearing this shit was more or less like going through a torture of increasing disappointment. By the time I heard “When Satan Rules His World” which is a song you can basically dance at at the prom, I understood the band was completely lost. The line up was the same but the songs were just plain tarantellas with heavy distortion. No punch, no in-your-face brutality, just happy dance songs for the brainless college monkeys like the subhumans in my school. When these “regular guys” came to me asking if I heard this fantastic album, hoping they could enter my circle of friendship I understood Death Metal lost another big piece on the way.

Vote: 3/10 (could be 5/10 if it was not released after “Legion”)

Serpents Of The Light, 1997

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By the time this album was released I was pretty much disillusioned and definitely done with Deicide, the sound of the tammuriata at the shore of the gulf of Naples still haunting my sleep.  Despite my abysmal expectations, I nevertheless found this album more than decent. The deicide-style song structures are on this album completely turned upside-down. The sound is still powerful but there is an added share of speed: instead of going back to their old sound they preferred to walk a much more typical path but the overall product was OK in my book. Sure the solos are not product of the schizoid rapture of their first two albums, and the consolidated American “chliché” sound was way more definite here but, despite not being as original as before, I dug this album pretty much. It’s fast, it has a couple of very powerful choruses and, while it has still ridicolous lyrics  somehow I don’t find them as cheesy as the one before. The cover art is so ugly it challenges Morbid Angel of this period, really what the fuck was going on in their mind when they designed it is beyond me.

Vote: 7/10

Insineratehymn, 2000

Insineratehymn

Things changed once again here, taking a simplified, sometimes almost minimalist take. My problem with this album is that you can’t be pushy if you rely on sound compression to create powerful music. If you try to play this stuff on shitty gear you get basically nothing in your hand. Mixing in slow, measured riffs technically might have added some extra punch to the album, especially after the super fast “Serpents” before, but I don’t know, Deicide’s major leverage is certainly not in the quality of the single riff. They’re no Incantation nor Asphyx, and when you chop down a monolithic in your face sound like theirs in such a way the result is definitely not particularly exciting, and certainly not inspired. I haven’t even bought this album, Deicide being more or less a closed chapter for me, especially after the following one.

The nicer thing about this album is probably the cover art, for once a little classy, following the dictations of this more austere approach.

Vote: 6,5/10

In Torment In Hell, 2001

In Torment In Hell

Derivative and uninspired are certainly the first words that come up when looking for adjectives for this album, which follows the lines of the preceding one but trying nonsensically to reheat some of the older shit. This idea isn’t particularly hidden either, considering the cover art is a mix of all the previous album covers. Unluckily not always mixing good ingredients you get the sum of all parts. Music, like cuisine, is a matter of good taste, balance, daring end enthusiasm, all four elements completely missing here. Last time I heard this album was the week it was released, and I am not giving it a new listen to refresh my memory on some lossless sound clips I deservedly downloaded illegally. Fuck it, you don’t really want me to actually PAY for this stuff? My memories were pretty much accurate however, no real juice to be squeezed from this dead body. The only thing I appreciated is the solos are quite decent as are some of the riffs, but arranged in this way you don’t really get much. I am not sure I remember correctly, but I read somewhere that the band itself pretty much sneered at this album too, since it was just a rushed up (1 mere year is actually little for songwriting unless you’re Motorhead) attempt at wrestling out of Roadrunner for which they had a contract to fulfill. In any case, let’s just skip this album, it’s not worth much.

Vote: 5/10

Scars Of The Crucifix, 2004

Scars Of The Crucifix

I reviewed this album before with a little added enthusiasm 10 years ago now (ah, being young ah ah). In any case I still believe this album was a good come back, especially after the failure of the amazingly generic last one. This is an album that I got as a promo from Earache back then, so I managed to listen to it on a normal medium, ah. It’s a rather good comeback in my opinion, finally balanced and spot on. Hoffman/1 has learned to write good solos but has the taste to cut them short and leave his brother Hoffman/2 lead the way the classic Deicide way; pummeling, chugging, crushing without remorse. All the arrangements on this album sounds just very right in my book, the vocals are in perfect shape and there is a good load of good old screams adding a layer of malignancy not present since maybe the Amon days (“Legion” is an album that stands on its own). The cover art is also finally something work taking some minutes having a look at. All in all, I deemed this album quite fine, probably the best of their second life.

Vote: 8/10

http://win.nuclearabominations.com/reviews_detail.asp?id=494

The Stench Of Redemption, 2006

The Stench Of Redemption

In 2006 Earache sent me the promo for this one as well which I listened to almost entirely on my car stereo complete with those unpleasant anti-piracy interruptions and obviously missing lyrics and complete packaging. I think that “The Stench Of Redemption” is potentially a very good album too for Deicide 2.0, the only thing I find completely out of place are these over the top solos, completely out of place in this mix of crushing brutality, possibly just there for the ego of Santolla. Who cares for this shit is beyond me, I never saw any overlapping between power metal and Death Metal. Yet Deicide’s new guitarists succeeded in evolving the sound of the band that lead us to a new territory and it somehow works out quite decently. I really do like the way the rhythm guitar throws in the mix an incredibly varied plethora of experiences, still managing to fill every second with layers over layers of sound and, thanks to a monstrous drumwork, leaves no time for breath. Mature in an unpredictable way, I found this album ripe and juicy, with just too much sugar on the lead solos.

Vote: 8/10

http://win.nuclearabominations.com/reviews_detail.asp?id=586

Til Death Do Us Part, 2008

I caught up with the latest 3 Deicide album just recently after a long pause of complete disconnection from their works (and well, many other bands as well), preferring more obscure, less promoted releases. What I think of this album is that this is possibly a second try at Insineratehymn (meaning a more thoughtful, slower, more evocative version of Deicide) that this time fell short for the opposite reasons. While the previous two albums were complex in a ceremonious but still orchestrally balanced way, I can’t really find any convincing connective tissue between the songs on this album. Shaking off my eyes the horrendous embossed effect on the logo (which might be forgiven to the band members, but not to the graphical dept of Earache) is difficult, but swallowing the whole plate has been even harder. It’s like a French dish, apparently good but relying most of its taste to butter and fat. You can’t really make a good album throwing all the shit that your creative skill brings up to your mind, some songs really sounds like they’ve been sewed together with thick twine. All in all however, I can’t say it’s totally shit either, just some album that can’t probably pass the test of time.

Vote: 6/10

To Hell With God, 2011

To Hell With God

Could be the somewhat insipid, bland sound but this albums is lacking completely one of the old trademark Deicide aspects: darkness. Even when blasting full force the band always managed to sit in the gloom of Satan’s ever reaching hand. Not here, at least from the way I am perceiving this shit. Even he screams that once added a level of enraptured folly don’t really make it, and some riffs (hear the song “Conviction”) are just plain boring old stuff. After such a a marathon, going through the whole band discography, I might be a little exhausted but this stuff just doesn’t click. The formula is more or less the same of the one before, but this album sounds incredibly prosaic and useless, not just unrefined. The cover (oh my, the embossing) is good stuff, not so the music within.

Vote: 5/10

In The Minds Of Evil, 2013

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All the previous intricacies have been unraveled on this album. Deicide this time chose to play fair showing everything that is going on in their songwriting all across this album, getting rid of choruses and screams among many other refinements. The main problem is that under the hood there seems to be very little left. This album sounds totally routine to me, sometimes the levels of dullness and horrible chugging of “Once Upon The Cross”. I never heard Deicide to utterly flavorless. Not a bad album if it was a teenager demo. For a Deicide album however, the curtains seem to have been pulled close once again. I gave them for dead more than once however, so who know what are they going to show us next time.

Vote: 5/10

That is all. It’s been a nice trip, if completely exhausting. I perfectly know many of you are going to be offended by these reviews, but go ahead and make your won blog, ah ah! In any case I enjoyed writing this. If you have a band that you’d like to get covered in a similar manner let me know. I basically NEVER review stuff that I don’t have in physical format, but I am prone to do it for these biographies for very shitty albums.

Emocaust records’ newest goregrind and gorenoise releases

Emocaust records releases

Emocaust records promo package.

Here we have a tasty little package from this relatively young Spanish label specialized in goregrind, cybergrind and gorenoise. This splendidly bloody package includes

  1. ECR7 VV.AA.:”50 Years Of Gore (1962-2013)” compilation Cd 2013 (this is also a free download)
  2. ECR 9 Cannibe/Septic Autopsy/Infected Gastroenteritis “3 way of Infected Autopsy into the Cannibalism” 3 way split Cd 2013
  3. ECR12 Necropodridal Cadaveric (Arg) “Recolección De Regurgitaciones Putrefactas” ‎Cd-r 2013
  4. – Cunt Pus Ingurgitator (USA): “Impulse To Fuck A Headless Whore” Cd-r 2013

50 Years Of Gore (1962-2013)

Reviewing compilations is always a pain in the ass, and when they contain so many bands it gets nigh-impossible to properly cover them all, so have a listen at the whole thing on YouTube (only 1 song per band, the Cd-r contains more) or download it straight from the label’s website. My copy is numbered so if you want to order the physical one for you, be fast: only 50 have been made. I have no clue what 1963 stands for as the picture on the cover looks like a frame from Bad Taste, but here it is, 50 years of gore!

This compilation has a little bit of everything. Some of the bands have a slightly more Brutal Death feel like Gruesome Bodyparts Autopsy, Losteror or Clogged Orifice, others are more radical gorgrind such as Melanoma, Fungus Infection or Dash the Brain Out, while others yet are stricly cyber grind such as Urethrorroea, Clostridium Difficile Infection, Dr. Aochider and Urophilia (clearly inspired by Libido Airbag) and yet some more deranged stuff like this freaked out Anaric feat. Mr. Pin (?) or noisegore as Terrato Naso Coprophiliac Algolagnia. My favorites in this sea of shit are probably the inenarrable Hydropneumothorax, good cyber shit, and the noisy Turulopsis Glabrata and Ascaris Lumbricoides. But really, there are few weak spots here. All in all this compilation is excellent from start to end.

 

Cannibe/Septic Autopsy/Infected Gastroenteritis “3 Ways of Infected Autopsy into the Cannibalism”

Cannibe is a somewhat prolific band from my country playing some kind of raw, almost garageish goregrind that reeks of bile and disscted homo sapiens. I’d dare to say they have that un-groovy, bulldozer crunch of earlier Dead Infection. We don’t really have that many completely human lineups in this genre today so I am always eager to hear new stuff from them. The seven tracks included in this split are taken live and decorously walk the thin line of totally tape rehearsal sound thanks to their really thick sound that stays distinct all the time despite the obvious limits of the recording gear. There are certainly no virtuosisms in goregrind (thanksfully) and the combination of good equipment and the simplicity of the songs pan out a couple of neat, intelligible tracks foir a total of about 10 minutes. Just as a note – one of the seven tracks is a Haemorrhage cover.

Septic Autopsy from Mexico I know little about except a past release on Human Discount records, but I definitely love this shit. Somehow bands from the southern states always manage to recreate a real musical massacre properly mixing an intricate stop and go madness of churning riffs and gargling vocals. They migth remind a bit of a more goregrindish, earlier Disgorge, with their amazing atonal and unpredictable and yet brutally in your face intermittent tempo changes. This is one of those bands that makes you feel what it is to shove your hand in a blender with a nasty sick, dense sound and not a single second of breath.

Infected Gastroenteritis from Greece has definitely stronger “digital” or “cyber” component compared to the previous two. While Septic Autopsy too use a drum machine it does not sound as artificial as it sounds in these tracks. The vocals are an heavily distorted roar, oscillating above a carpet of hyperfast drum machine beats. There are also a couple of samples between the songs but they don’t overlap with the tracks, they’re just used to separate the short songs. While the first tracks are more noisy a la Autophagia (just to stay in the neighborhood) the last ones explore the territory of liquid-gorenoise like Urine Festival and Tumour. This is a band which probably hasn’t explored its full potential.

Necropodridal Cadaveric

Necropodridal Cadaveric is a brand new band from Argentina and as far as I know this might be their only official release available at the moment, which luckily collects also their 2007 demo and a previously released split EP (with SESOS TRITURADOS). The most relevant thing about this album is the absolute primitivity of the songs. The structure stripped to a minimum and the drumming blasting basically with no precise direction chumming up with cricket vocals in short bursts averaging one minute or so. I like the barbarism and almost vulgar austerity of these songs even though I am not much into the cricket style vocals which better fit US slam bands which is a genre I don’t follow much. The vocals however are not always as static as a boulder, and when the slightly more open roar chime in, the recipe works rather well.  For some reason I found myself enjoying even more the older demo tracks which have a low quality, sick texture which if fundamental for this genre. There are also a couple of bonus tracks at the end with a different sound than the earlier ones, probably recorded in a live session. Good shit, anyway.

The Cd packaging is rather good, like the other Emocaust releases, being a collection of decomposing corpses and rough surgical dissections.

Cunt Pus Ingurgitator

Here is another 50+ tracks from that morbidly prolific guy known as Bob Macabre (including a previous 2012 demo “Slicing A Corpses Vagina”. This guy has released more albums, demos and splits in the past two years than Nun Slaughter, Sabbat and Agathocles combined. This means at least that he is aware of the sound he wants to recreate. His project CPI is pure gorenoise, the kind of stuff that a dozen years ago could have been released by Fecal Matter Discorporated. I generally enjoy this shit: it is chaotic, noisy, chock full of imprecisions of mistakes that add consistency rather than spoiling the songs. Thanks to these leaks and imprecisions the music raises to a level of variety that the drum machine could never guarantee. “Impulse To Fuck A Headless Whore” ‎ is a bit faster and way less varied than stuff from, say Anal Birth or Biocyst to name two, but the songs are so short (the whole Cd-r is 33 minutes long) that this is scarcely an issue. For lover or multilayered noise with a porn-gore imagery.

MISERY INDEX (USA): “Ruling Class Canceled” split Cd with MUMAKIL 2007 Power It Up

Misery Index Mumakil

Oh come on. Is that really an half skeletal corporate man with a bunch of oppressed black victims against an American flag on the cover? Don’t they really ever get tired of that stuff? I seriously think I got my full share with Brutal Truth‘s debut, and that was 20-something years ago. Seriously, the booklet is fine, but the lyrics here sucks worse than some teenager punk band from some obscure burg in the rocky center of Italy. Well that’s worth for Misery Index at least, as I can see no Mumakil lyrics in here. I’ll spare the suffering of discussing what the subjects of these lyrics are about, you can grab any Dead Kennedys record and get something a million times better written.

Contrary to Brutal Truth, however, which even on the first album had string grindcore influences, I can hear nothing I can call even fairly grind in Misery Index. I really wonder what the fuck everyone is listening at these days and dare to call grind fucking core. This band have the fattest motherfucking sound ever, so clean and crisp you can use it to cut pepperoni for your pizza. They even have some chunky reminiscences of Dying Fetus (well that cannot be considered a falut, I guess Jason probably contributed a little bit to his old band’s sound), grunts and all. All this rant says basically nothing so far, bit that’s just because I could not force myself to find anything remotely interesting in this recording. Average seems to be the fitting term here, superbly average fast, modern, American-styled Death Metal full of all those accelerations and barking. Not my cup of tea.

As for Mumakil, things get a litytle bit more complex. They have some extra layers of screams and grunts, probably some less refinement in their songwriting which I can’t but appreciate, yet they still sound as uninteresting as a band can be. Considering they take the name from a Middle Earth creature, share the same cover as Misery Index, and print no lyrics, their music is all I can rely on to identify what the personality of the band is. And at the third listen, I still cannot distinguish this stuff from a billion other records. Sure, they seriously kicked Misery Index ass on this split, but we’re still far from being memorable even for a single second.

I cannot say anything band about this split, but I can’t say anything good either. 7″s are cool however, and this Cd has been pressed on wax of different color. Does that count?

LEGIONS OF ASTAROTH (USA): “The Moon Bleeds Red Upon the Earth” split Cd-r with HELLGOAT 2005 Vile Art

hellgoat / Legions of Astaroth

I was not hugely impressed by Hellgoat and by jove, I am underwhelmed by Legions of Astaroth as well. Like I said before fuzzy sound is by no means a turn down for me, but the kind of music this band is playing definitely could gain some points with something better than a bedroom rehearsal sound. We have some sloppy galloping here too, but as with Hellgoat they’re kept to a minimum and maybe, if we could hear the guitars, they could be not terribly bothering. Like with the other band in the split, I find the vocals the best element in the mix, as the drums do what they’re supposed to do in a good black metal band, that is blasting. Can’t say much more as it’s quite difficult to hear what they are pretending to be playing here.

And that’s it, I don’t have much more to add, as it is it sounds like some ordinary bestial death/black metal band. I guess Astaroth didn’t inspire very much the band.

HELLGOAT (USA): “Moonlight Ritual” split Cd-r with LEGIONS OF ASTAROTH 2005 Vile Art

hellgoat / Legions of Astaroth

If I was a stalwart defender of high-fidelity sound I could have never enjoyed bands like Apator or Black Mass Of Absu, yet we’re at a severely dangerous level here in terms of shitty sound. Luckily enough Hellgoat does not use the oxidized camera mic as a trick to recreate dismal landscape of shit like early Burzum. I will proceed in reviewing this split demo with a good share of my cognitive capacity focused on the health of my speakers, though, as they have been crackling and popping dangerously since the very first second. Whet we have is is rather plain, almost indistinguishable Black Metal with decent vocals. The cover of this slimcase is just a color-xeroxed piece of paper with song titles written by hand, but you know, I generally like disadvantaged people. The music is as repetitive and uninspiring as you can imagine, but I find some interesting ideas, if only I could discern a little bit more on what’s going on. Might be a good stuff for lovers of the aforementioned bands, or Gonkulator, as it’s not funeral shit Black Metal but something closer to Death/Black is labels still do matter something today. What I mean is there is some structure here, some fairly evocative riffing, flesh ripping vocals and so on. They sometime fall into the mid-tempo danger zone (and I HATE the mid tempo gallop) but it’s not something hugely intrusive. I guess it’s one of those cases a little fuller production could have mattered (or a slightly more basic songwriting if we want to keep it minimalist and indulge on the cave sound).