Sunday, January 18, 2009

Human Mastication - Grotesque Mastication Of Putrid Innards (Sevared; 2008)

Well, it's about time I get around to this review.  Gee and co. really deserve praise for this one, a ludicrously heavy slab of slam from the old Philippines, trusty new source for all your brutal needs.  With the obligatory serial killing sample opening the album, we're treated to a familiar sound.  It works in this case, as with Gortuary's album earlier this year.  Off-time slamming and frantically-paced drumming mark the band's first song.  One very good aspect of this album is the amazing drum production which highlights the flavorful cymbal usage and also highlights the snare's distinctly pinging tone (not quite "Colombian" but almost).  Gee's vocals are another point of distinction; they're dry yet oddly guttural, they don't sound wet like Ruben Rosas...instead they opt for a "vacuum-sealed" struggling sound, like someone quickly losing their last supply of air before death.  The atmosphere is greatly enhanced by these vocals, and it's cool that someone has finally innovated on the traditional brutal pig-vocals or guttural burps.

The slam sections are held together by shambles of verse-riffs which also act as slam riffs with less emphasis.  The breakdowns are meaty and full of catchy chugging, as well as the aforementioned GREAT drumming.  Some parts remind of fellow Filipinos Down From The Wound (a favorite among Nick and I) especially in the beginning of the second track, which opens up with angular atonal riffing and casual drumblasting.  The one fault here is that the production, while highlighting certain things very well, is pretty weak and not quite Abominable Putridity level, which can sometimes hurt the music.  It's not much of a complaint though, as the songwriting side of things offers up surprises despite the formulaic style of slam death.  If you're a fan of slam, it's going to be hard to dislike this, pretty much.  It does many more things right than it does wrong. 

The length is even just right; just over 30 minutes.  To slam bands writing 20 minute albums with the same amount of tracks (eight), Human Mastication laughs at you with superior song structuring and a more drawn-out approach!  It works very well, too, and the songs themselves never get tiring, nor does listening to the album ever become a "chore".  Human Mastication have really got talent, poise and professionalism despite their incredibly "cult" status in slam apparently (more fans needed!).  Now that Barrett at the helm of Sevared Records is bringing HM and DFTW + more Filipino slam sickness to the masses though, there should be NO reason not to listen to this stuff.  You've been warned!

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