Sunday, December 30, 2007

2007 Superlatives

As the end of 2007 rolls in, Nick and I were thinking of how we'd categorize some of the most famous and shame-ous albums of we decided to go with the perfect way. Behold, the high school superlatives of slamming brutal death metal in 2007!

Best Debut Full-Length:
Down From The Wound - Agony Through Rituals Of Self Purification
Bow down to the new true masters of slam, your friendly neighborhood (OK, maybe not so much...fuckin' Filipino!) brutalites Down From The Wound. Their debut is chock full of chunky Devourment-isms and an equal amount of side-blasting, technical-shifting Suffocation references. As if that isn't enough, you get a couple vocal solos, some breakdowns that will literally make you want to pound your head into the nearest large solid object, and some truly excellent drumming courtesy of god-among-men Randyl (who we previously interviewed).

Best Debut EP/Demo:
MP5K - Deranged Stockholm Syndrome EP
What to say about the true inheritors of Swede-slam? If you can't beat 'em, join 'em is how the old proverb goes, and these young upstarts show that there's no better time to do just that than the present. Featuring ex-Soils Of Fate drummer and basically a thicker sounding version of SOF's basic template, these Scandinavian motherfuckers assault you with 5 tracks of insanely groovy, catchy, and brutal death metal! I think their debut might just kill a few people.

Heaviest Album:
Infernal Revulsion - Devastate Under Hallucination
You're gonna have a pretty fucking hard time finding something this heavy, and with such a REASON to be such. Subtly progressive song structures get this Japanese band far in advance of most of their contemporary competition, and the overall gravity of, well, just about EVERY instrument playing here AT ALL TIMES (even the vocals are heavy!) is beyond huge. The production also allows a ton of headroom for this to be the case; excellent and upfront riffs and slams are showcased by a pristine chugging guitar tone which highlights the lows and mids perfectly, while leaving room for a short solo or two to cut in. Speaking of that, check out the slamming instrumental opening track, nothing short of fantastic. More, please!

Catchiest/Grooviest Award:
Human Rejection - Torture Of Decimation
It's actually just the beginning of "Last Abortion Mass" which sells this one...that is seriously an infectious riff. The entire thing is short, to the point, and fucking groovy as hell. There isn't a boring moment on this one, and the band impressed me even more because they're Greek and don't sound like the other Greek slam available; they keep it tight with a Devourment (indeed, Nick noticed that the riff off the song I mentioned above is at least partially stol--er, appropriated--from "Masturbating At The Slab") style, only (as Nick puts it) "bouncier" and not as focused on being super brutal. It actually really works, somehow, and HR come out on top as being one of the more worthwhile Greek entries, right up there with our next winner:

Most Epic:
Inveracity - Extermination Of Millions
When I first put this on, I remember thinking to myself "did I actually just buy the lost Kronos album or something?" This album is chock full of amazingly epic riffing, from the syncopated lead harmonic riffs in "Visions Of Coming Apocalypse" to the improved style of old favorite "Raped." I actually wouldn't really call this slam, except for some places where they accurately throw in a nice chunky breakdown. For the most part, it's full of subtly catchy tremolo riffs with more melody than the standard "tremolo brutal" band Deeds Of Flesh, but not as much as some shitty Gothenburg. That said, this strikes a chord with me for also being one of those sophomore albums that goes way the fuck above and beyond what is to be expected of a band. I wanted more Suffocation worship, but I got something even better; a brutal album with brains and flair.

Most Drastic Change:
Infected Malignity - RE:bel
Er...what the fucksticks? This is definitely not the slamming Japanese guttural band Nick loved and I disliked for the most part. For this album, the band randomly became melodic deathcore and became momentarily (or maybe permanently) American/Canadian-sounding. I have to say, I think I laughed out loud when I first found out about this, but the album (despite being shorter than pretty much every slam album this year, though it's technically an EP I believe) is actually really damn good. Churning death metal with hardcore breakdowns, some acoustics (wah--?!), and a good helping of anger...this is good shit. Though...seriously...what the hell did they do this for? My logic points to money, and I'd believe it if they sounded passionless and stale, but...yeah I don't know. Whatever, I guess.

Best Cover Art:
Putridity - Mental Prolapse Induces Necrophilism
Nick and I picked an underdog for this one, an album he reviewed by an obscure Italian slam band called Putridity. We'd probably pick Extermination Of Millions if we didn't subscribe to the old "an album can only win one award" rule, so we went with this fucked up cover. Zig's trademark macabre style of weird stuff being eaten, impaled, and brutalized in general rings true here, but there's also this disturbing sense of space and depth. Then there's this dude with cysts growing out of his head standing right up front. And fucking...worm things and stuff...what the hell? Awesome!

Biggest Disappointment:
Condemned - Desecrate The Vile
With members of mighty pure-slam band Cephalotripsy, I was really looking forward to this, but felt highly let down. Sure it's heavy, fast, and slammy, but I didn't really see the point. Plus the last track, which I saw was 11 minutes long, was one I falsely expected to actually be 11 minutes of death metal, like Deeds' "The Endurance," such luck. Stupid 9 minute outro...kind of bothered me. Without this it's like 23 minutes long, which is criminally short. I guess this album wouldn't really be disappointing if I didn't think it had potential in the first place, and that's what I'm getting at. Tons of bands are playing this only better...and with the personnel involved, I thought I'd get smacked by something impressive...ah well. No bad blood, though...maybe their follow-up will slay!

Andy's top 10 brutal/slam albums of 2007:
1. Down From The Wound - Agony Through Rituals Of Self Purification
2. Inveracity - Extermination Of Millions
3. Infernal Revulsion - Devastate Under Hallucination
4. Cephalotripsy - Uterovaginal Insertion Of Extirpated Anomalies
5. Ancient Necropsy - Apocalyptic Empire
6. MP5K - Deranged Stockholm Syndrome EP
7. Human Rejection - Torture Of Decimation
8. Malignancy - Inhuman Grotesqueries
9. Cenotaph - Reincarnation In Gorextasy
10. Putridity - Mental Prolapse Induces Necrophilism
w/ honorable mentions to the new Sadistic Mutilation, Defleshuary, Katalepsy, Odious Mortem (if it counts...not sure really), Defloration (same here), and Human Excoriation.

Nick's Top 10 brutal/slam albums of 2007
1. Infernal Revulsion - Devastate Under Hallucination
2. Down From the Wound - Agonies Through Rituals of Self Purification
3. Inveracity - Extermination of Millions
4. Human Rejection - Torture of Decimation
5. Malignancy - Inhuman Grotesqueries
6. Putridity - Mental Prolapse Induced Necrophilism
7. MP5k - Deranged Stockholm Syndrome
8. Cenotaph - Reincarnation in Gorextasty
9. Ancient Necropsy - Apocalyptic Empire
10. Defeated Sanity - Psalms of the Moribund
Honorable Mentions go to Cephalotripsy, Katalepsy, Sadistic Mutilation, Atrocious Abnormality, and Human Excoriation

1 comment:

Finn McKenty said...

great blog!! it's like you guys are reading my mind!

although i do have to disagree with ranking Condemned as biggest disappointment- personally, i thought that was one of the best death metal records i've ever heard. not sure if i'd call it true slam or not, since it has so many blasts, but i've definitely given it a ton of listens in the last few months.