Friday, January 11, 2008

Degrade - Lost Torso Found - 2006 - Permeated Records

Up for review here is more Swe-slam, this time by the bowel-ruiners in Degrade. Lying somewhat in the NYDM category of slam, but also utilizing fast, angular blast sections, these guys definitely have some nice things to offer; yes, even Texas stomp breakdowns if you want me to get really specific.

Beginning with a short and succinct sample ("What's it to be? Bowels in or bowels out?"), the band slams right into a fast section reminiscent of traditional Deeds Of Flesh works before going into an epic muted riff and vocal "mini solo" section, followed by catchy and tight rhythms in the vein of countrymen Soils Of Fate and
MP5K. This material has a tight and thick production, with the drums right up front. Some minor bass flourishes do peak out once in a while, adding a nice little flair to the sound, but overall you're getting guttural breakdown after breakdowns with verse sections of technical rhythmic interplay and fucked up riffing.

The band clearly knows how to write a song, toying with progressive structures and time signature shifts that don't feel out of place or insipid. The chunky downtuned riffs are often quite similar to Maltese slammers Beheaded and Abysmal Torment, both of which exhibit grind leanings, and so it is as well in the case of this album, though not so much that it's overbearing. As with most slam, the catchiest sections rely on well timed and tight percussion and low-end, and Berto really knows how to pound the skins with accuracy and taste. I wish there were more sections where he played some nice tom fills or something, but his cymbal use is rather impeccable, especially in regards to subtle hits between breakdown riffs. As for vocals, this guy has no problem pretending he's Ruben Rosas, so I'm fine with that, of course! Some layered scream/harsh vocals on top of gutturals remind me of Disgorge on She Lay Gutted (title track of that especially), and of course, if you sound like Matti, you're A-OK in my book too. No problems in the vocal department.

I also wish there were solos on this album...since there are two guitarists on this band and there is VERY rarely any leadwork, I feel like there's kind of some wasted potential in regards to what they could alternatively do with playing shorter lead guitar parts. Not like full blown ridiculous wanky 80's prog guitar, but more in the pinch harmonic/Ancient Necropsy tapping/sweeping sense. Then again, I'm sure they probably thought about this and said "nah" and decided to add in more slams where they originally saw solos, so more power to them. Now I take the time to point to the title of this blog; it says "Slam-Minded" and boy, do we like slams! These guys deliver them, and I'm psyched that they worked with Permeated Records, who have previously brought us great releases from Putridity, Wargore, and Revenance. Hail to the Swedish slam scene!

No comments: