First, a bit of disclosure. There was a black metal band on first. I only caught maybe one song and frankly cannot recall their name to save my life. This isn’t nearly enough of a sample for me to discuss them fairly so I’m going to decline comment. Sorry guys, I was running late and needed to get dinner.
Gigan followed this and it was the second time I’d seen them in a month as they also opened for Grave. I was going to do a writeup for that show too but I ended up getting drunk which did not help my already faulty recall. First of all when you have a really technical band like Gigan you need very good sound to be able to appreciate them and for a few songs it sounded like the club forgot to turn the guitar on. I’m not all that big on this sort of thing but trying to handle that sort of music with terrible sound and you have no chance. I’ve listened to their records a bit and this isn’t my brand of Scotch. They just seem like yet another band who can write a ton of riffs and not write an actual song.
Jungle Rot followed them up and I was impressed in the wrong way. I was never really a fan and I haven’t even heard anything they’ve done in over a decade. That said I knew every note they were going to play before they even played it. They managed to make AC/DC sound unpredictable, they were that generic. They had good energy on stage and seemed like good enough guys but that was some of the least interesting music I’ve ever heard. If the set had been shorter it might have been fine but it felt like they went on forever.
Finally Immolation took the stage and all of the earlier stuff I couldn’t have cared less about went away. They were to put it mildly, CRUSHING. The sound was pretty good and they clearly wanted to devastate the hometown fans in a good way. The crowd, which was shamefully small, wasn’t ultra-violent but they were definitely into it in a big way. I can’t remember song titles worth a damn so don’t ask me for a set list in the comment section but they did play a little something off the whole discography. I do wish they would have broken out “Higher Coward” to start but I have no complaints about anything from Immolation. I just hope next time they bring along better support.
I totally recommend catching this, but it’s probably a good idea to show up kind of late.
OK, let’s find out if I have gravely wronged Monstrosity by not listening to this album a ton more than I have in the past or was I justified in doing so. I hate to say this but I think it was the right call on my part.
First the positives as there are plenty of them here. The cover of this album is stunning. While it is certainly a nasty looking bit of body horror that I think David Cronenberg would approve of the use of color here really stands out. No sticking to black and red here, they use the whole palette to wonderful effect. The musicianship is quite solid and Corpsegrinder is a damned solid vocalist and far better than Chris Barnes ever was, though that isn’t saying much. However on this album he does have one problem. His cadence is always the same and this problem extends to the whole album. It is a solid record but it is very repetitive.
While this was recorded at Morrisound, Monstrosity handled the production themselves so it doesn’t sound like Arise or The Ten Commandments and that bit of individuality is nice. However the songs themselves sound like leftovers from Altars of Madness. The tempo runs on the faster side though they do like to get slow and heavy when it is called for. This is not a bad album but it’s one of those that you put on in the background when doing something else. It doesn’t really stand up to a good close listen as it is very redundant.
This is also going to sound bad because of when I’m saying this but this is a very short album and that is a good thing. While they would certainly improve later on I have to say this is a decent start but not a great one. You can hear the seeds of the later masterpiece that is In Dark Purity here but they had a long way to go to get there.
Verdict: A decent record but when I’m in the mood for this sort of thing I’m just putting on Altars of Madness for the billionth time.
OK I explained the idea behind the title in an earlier post so now let’s get down to business. Was I right or wrong for not working this album into the rotation much more than I have in the past? Let it not be said that I can’t admit I fucked up. This album is so much better than I remember it being back when I was first getting into death metal back around 1991. I think part of the reason I love it more now is the production. The drums aren’t an overprocessed nightmare that don’t even sound like actual drums. This makes the song Sacrificial Annihilation true joy to listen to because the kickdrums are out of control on this song. In fact I rather enjoy Scott Burns production although if you weren’t paying the requisite attention the guitars could lead you to believe that this was Deicide or Sepultura. This is not a complaint about the guitar sound by any stretch as it still sounds organic without sounding like garbage. There is a difference between sounding good and being sterile.
I also didn’t remember Brett Hoffman’s vocals being so distinct. Back when so many bands were trying to trying to create the most extreme vocals sounds they could think of Brett Hoffman went in another direction and tried to combine clarity with harshness as best he could. He succeeds beyond even his wildest dreams.
For something that has 20 years of age it’s amazing how unique it sounds. It isn’t technical to the point where you wonder if they know how to write a fucking song but not so straightforward as to be forgettable. This album has hooks. Granted some of those hooks came courtesy of Hell Awaits era-Slayer. Don’t try to convince me the song Malevolent Creation doesn’t owe Kill Again a royalty check. It is not a sin to be catchy nor is it impossible to kick major ass while doing so. If you don’t believe me put this on and then try to argue with me. I personally don’t love breakdowns but in the right hands they are a devastating weapon. These guys know how and when to use them for maximum effect. It also helps that most of the breakdowns are of the bay area thrash variety. Reminding me of bay area thrash is a cheap but effective way to get on my good side. They aren’t the fastest band or the heaviest, however they are smart enough to mix the two making for quite the heady audio elixir. I saw them last year and let’s just say there’s a damn good reason they still play Multiple Stab Wounds every time.
Verdict – I was wrong and I shall make restitution immediately.
P.S It’s good to be back with these fuckers. I have to commit a bit of heresy and put on a bit of Thin Lizzy to celebrate. I think you know which song.
While searching for Inspiration and something to kill the time while waiting for my Irene-induced blackout to end I fired up the mp3 player and put on Malevolent Creation’s The Ten Commandments. I then realized this is one of those older albums I don’t really listen to for reasons I don’t understand. Probably one of those things where I just lack the time or I’m not in that particular mood. So now I will be going through the music I have at my disposal and look for older records that I don’t really listen to and see if my ignoring them is justified or foolish on my part. I call it Exhuming the Forgotten, even though most of the time I’ll probably be the only one who forgot the album in question. I’ll have one for The Ten Commandments up soon.
P.S. When I said I was searching for Inspiration that’s the name of my pet redhead that I keep in the closet. If you find her drop me a line, redheads are hard to find.
I believe the quote is “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!” Well Mux didn’t have to pull very hard to be honest. In fact he just asked and I said sure. What is on the agenda to write about on here for me? Fucked if I know. Hell I’m open to suggestions from you the reader. I might be doing a review of Grave who are playing next Saturday. Due to my work schedule being in flux to put it mildly I can’t guarantee my attendance. Not that I do much of anything with it but if you are the Twitter kind my handle is @KyleHuckins213. Well it was a pretty damned good introduction to death metal for me so I might as well steal it for here, although I first heard it with Barney on the Live Corruption VHS. Enjoy.