Sunday, March 8, 2009

Embryonic Depravity/Gorevent - Malignant Opus of Inherited Depravities (Sevared; 2009)

Finally, ED unleashes something widely available, and with Japanese slam-mongers Gorevent to boot.  This is somewhat of a funny pairing; ED is of course all about blasting technicality with sinister slam/tremolo riffing and snaky songwriting.  The bass pops out at little intervals like the breakdown in the excellently titled "Acephalous Transmutation" which is a well-documented favorite quirk of mine.  The weak link in the band is actually probably Rob's vocals (sorry man!) which aren't quite guttural enough for my tastes, but I suppose they work well enough in the regard that ED isn't a "totally slam" band that needs all-out gutturals.

The fact that the bass even exists is awesome, also, because their first demo which contained the aforementioned track had no bass on it as far as I know! James, the new bassist, has implemented his personal style well in the structure of the band, especially in breakdowns as I said.  During the blasting the riffs can get a little lost behind the clanging ride/hi-hat combo, but otherwise, the drums sound great; crisp, clear and full.  I'd like to hear Rob try a higher vocal register here and there, maybe via multitracking, as dual high/guttural vocals sound like they would fit snugly here, if I do say so myself.  The tappy/sweepy solo at the end of "Insurgence of Dogmatic Antiquity" is even better here than it was on the demo, also.  "The Propagation of Decrepitude" if I recall correctly was a Myspace sample of the band's new work for a while, featuring stop-on-a-dime tempo changes that sound totally natural for the band, and feature the band working with a slightly beefed-up production for some reason.  The little guitar noodlies tend to bother me here and there, a little too "Cali" for these ears (though some bands can pull it off, Gortuary being one!).

I am interested in seeing where they go from here; if they develop their "futuristic" seeming sound/aesthetic a little more, they could achieve unthinkable levels of technical slam/deathgrind supremacy in the future.  As always, a band to watch and support.

Gorevent presents their entire demo + a previously unheard track(?) here, and if Embryonic Depravity represent the future of slam, Gorevent represent the cavemen; the neanderthals of plugging-away slam with no glorious solos, no noodly guitar thingies, no big tempo-changing-blast-breakdown sections...just pure, unadulterated, demo-style Abominable Putridity/Devourment slam of a tall and downtuned order.  These troglodytic tones always hit the spot for me, though, their bludgeoning excess always beating the listener into submission; this is definitely the audial sound of a sledgehammer crushing skulls mercilessly!

Even for a demo, the sound is pretty good all things considered, and the songwriting is what we expect.  "Gory the Body" is a track that didn't make its way onto the album from last year (a big hit around these parts for the impersonal, disturbing way they handle slam and twist it in their own atrocious, surreal way...very Japanese, as such), but it should have, as it begins with a ludicrous breakdown in which now-ex female bassist Sonobe's individual tones can be heard menacingly strummed under the chugging low-cut gritty guitars in all their hammering glory. The middle section has a very cool riff into a half-blasting section which dissolves into yet another slam breakdown, perhaps kind of a weird songwriting choice, but it's fun and would get pits confused and subsequently bloodthirsty.

"Monition" is a song I've never heard, as mentioned, and it's a little rawer and more Abominable Putridity-esque than the others but with a certain charm and organic feel unlike AP.  The kick drum is a little annoying, sort of clicky, but not fast enough to blend in, so it feels like it sticks out.  The chugging pinch harmonic section is a big plus though, more bands need to do the onward-moving straight chug/pinch thing, it's always awesome sounding to me.  Well, there you have it.  The UK and Japan team up to offer two sides of the "brutality" coin from the West and East ends.  What seems like a slightly strange pairing left me feeling like there couldn't have been a better one.  Hats off to Barrett for making this happen, and a fist to my own face for not having reviewed this 2 weeks ago when I got it!

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