Friday, October 7, 2011

Acranius - The Echo Of Her Cracking Chest (2011; Rising Nemesis Records)

Acranius is a slam two-piece that hail from Germany, which has a history of being hit and miss in the brutal death department (Defeated Sanity good; Despondency bad). Just by looking at their promotional photos, I was pretty skeptical, as one member was holding an aluminum baseball bat, while the other was holding a obviously fake AK47, both dressed as wigger as possible. Now I'm not saying that the wigger image is a bad thing (actually I am), but most wigger slam has been pretty awful for the most part. Would Acranius be at Vomit Remnants level, or at Waking The Cadavers? Sadly, they're closer to the latter.

The album starts off with a 59 second intro track titled Ghetto Brawl, which you would expect to be just a soundbyte intro, or some epic slams like Defeated Sanity's Introitus, but your ears are raped by some godawful gangshouts in German. A slam starts off right after, which sounds pretty middle of the road, and then you're greeted by some mediocre vocals, about 10 seconds of slamming, then a total deathcore breakdown. They have the nerve to add in another awful gangshout and deathcore breakdown right after that too. Maybe the next track will be better? God no.

I'm not going to descibe all of the tracks, as they all use almost the exact same song structure, and songwriting, so I'll only do one. The second track, Supremacy Through Rejection, starts off with an odd tremelo riff, with some mediocre programmed blasting underneath it. It segways directly into another slam, which reminds me Devourment for a little bit, before descending into a funeral slam of sorts. While it is a pretty cool idea, Acranius seems pretty awful at transitions, so it just sounds awkward as hell. They then jump into a "Waking The Cadaver" slam, which is a mixture of a deathcore breakdown and a slam, replay the same riff from the start, then jump into a huge deathcore breakdown. The song repeats this about one more time, before ending on the same riff that started the song. That's it, that's all, I just described the entire album.

The production doesn't really help things either. The guitar sounds decent when they just chug along, but when they decided to do anything more then 20 bpm, it starts to sound extremely thin and weak. The drums are obviously programmed, and not very well at that. They add in random cymbal hits which make absolutely no sense within the context of the song. I am about 99.9% sure there is no bass, and the vocals are just there. These problems usually wouldn't make much of a difference if the music was well written, but it isn't. It isn't even well played, there are glaring mistakes in almost every track that just jumps out at you. Shanty Town Hookers for example, if you listen close to the starting riff, it's not really keeping in time, and he seems to mess up on a few notes.

The Echo Of Her Cracking Chest just isn't a good album. I'm sorry, I wanted to enjoy it. The cover art looked awesome, and the title of the album gave me a half chub, but beyond that there just isn't anything here to really enjoy. The slams are mediocre, the musicianship just isn't there, and beyond that, nothing is memorable. Nada. I can't remember a single riff from this album. If you like Kraanium or Waking The Cadaver, maybe you might get some enjoyment out of this, I know I sure as hell didn't.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gurglectomy / Desvirginizagore / Inhumation - Grinding Your Brain Split (2011; Venal Prods)

So, you want to hear a lot of underground brutal shit from South America in one place but don't know how to do so. You're confused and seeking help at this wonderful blog we have here, so I guess it is only fair of me to introduce to you a cute little 3-way split of some perverted slammers'n'grinders from Sudamerica (Argentina and Peru specifically).

The split starts off with Gurglectomy who are pretty standard Colombian-sounding stuff (despite originating in Argentina, as Inhumation also do), a bit like old, old Goretrade combined with Carnivore Diprosopus' more depraved offerings. Toss in a pinch of 9-note slam breakdowns tossed in for absolutely great measure and you're about on top of where this is headed. The band jams out four songs here totaling under 10 minutes, so you know they don't really fuck around. The second song reminds heavily of Suppuration's first album with its blurred pinch harmonics and ever-so-slightly melodic riffs. By extension, it's also a little bit like early Ancient Necropsy in how quick, spiked tremolo riffs are bookended by spazzy blasts and psychotic riff breaks. "A Rapist Tale" approaches true interest with its very solid construction, and really weird breakdown that utilized dead-air in a pretty effective way.

The production distracts here, though; it's really tunneled and scooped, with an absurd low-end that does little to highlight any interesting things happening. It also sounds a lot like the drummer can't keep up with the speed of the other things going on during the very fast, blurry riff segments, but I think that's kind of charming and cool regardless; your mileage will probably vary. It depends almost entirely on how into stupid, underground as hell slam you are to decide whether you'd glean any actual interest out of this.

Desvirginizagore (from here on out referred to lovingly as DVG because fuck writing that name) have previously been covered on this blog when they released the video highlighted in this post and they remain a force to be reckoned with. Boasting very solid production and amazing songwriting skills that merge brutal old school death metal with traditional American DM (and great solos, very similar actually to Morbus), DVG goes the distance on this split with three very well-made songs that get progressively longer. Their 3 tracks measure out to over 14 minutes, and I think their style totally necessitates this length, as opposed to Gurglectomy who are around to blast and rule and just be slammy. DVG are not, however; theirs is a much more finely-tuned beast capable of very many cool things.

The first song on here is the song from that video, and it reigns supreme with a fantastic solo section and overall tight riffcraft and strong chugging slow sections. In the previously-mentioned post I called this band a mix of Goretrade and Sourpuz, which I think still generally holds true. The third song begins with a really heavy slam but quickly abandons that for no-holds-barred brutality and charges forth very directly. About halfway through there is an insane Morbid Angel solo that threatens to totally stop the song until they introduce a crazy atmospheric thing. You should probably just get this because this band is sick as hell and rules. But that's not all, because there's one more band on here, and they're also good (and old).

Inhumation are a deathgrind band that's been around since 1995 (wtf?), though they broke up for a while there. Probably not many people noticed this, but they aren't likely to give a fuck, because their music also sounds uncaring and callous. Bordering Napalm Death as much as it borders Gut, there's an air of "fuck you" here that rules. It even reminds me a bit of old Squash Bowels in the way songs just come and go with very little care. "Dioxin Engendration in P.C.B. Pyrolisis" has an insane funeral breakdown that picks back up to a grooving, rocking section rivaling the best stuff that this genre has to offer, honestly. The last track is some scary fucking shit; basically weird ambient stuff, some noise and some distorted screaming vocals that concatenate in an utterly bizarre industrial collage and then fade out immediately.

This shit rules, and you should buy this split now because, well, everything on it is kickass in a different way. It's diverse, interesting and keeps your ears busy. What more do you want?