Release DetailsLABEL Brutal Bands
RELEASED ON 4/30/2004
posted on 5/2005 By:
On Human Boundaries, Stabwound deliver an absolutely blistering assault. This is pretty similar to the Abysmal Torment album I recently reviewed, in that there are groovier moshable parts, but also sections of extreme technical blast. By this stage, you probably either know about Stabwound or don’t, because they’ve recently broken up, and obviously aren’t doing a whole lot of promotion right now. This release is a fitting swansong for the band, because it sounds to me like they achieved everything they were aiming for on this release. Basically, if you like the genre, you’ll like this. This resembles Devourment, but the riffs are perhaps even more memorable.
The band members are talented. The drums keep up a frantic pace, and are very well recorded. The drummer for this band is amazing, and I hope that he goes on to form a new band, if he hasn’t already. Stabwound often employ the tried and true Napalm Death technique of keeping the drums at double the tempo of the guitars, which livens up even the slower sections. The only problem is that the drums are a little too high in the mix, which makes some of it sound mechanical. I don’t really think this is the feel the band was looking for, because it probably would have been even more forceful if the drums weren’t so overpowering. Stabwound aren’t one of those bands where the drummer is the only talented member of the band, and believe me, I hear bands like that all the time. As I have mentioned, the guitar parts are extremely catchy, and though it’s all coming at you a bit too fast to stick in your head, I bet with a few more plays of this album I would be able to hum riffs. That’s a testament to how interesting this material is. The vocals are very good, and the dude has good diction and enunciation, which helps with the overall groove of the album. Sometimes he does hilarious effects, like a gagging noise, squeals, and also a very amusing modulation in pitch towards the end of “trans gender mutilation.” If I have any complaint about the vocalist, it’s that his stuff doesn’t have the wet, juicy edge to it which often makes a good album even better. It’s not that he can’t do it, it just gets a little muffled in the mix. I guess not everyone can be like the guy from Lord Gore, and Stabwound’s frontman is awesome and then some.
Human Boundaries is comprised of plenty of crushing slam sections mixed with a fair amount of faster material. For the most part, these aren’t the painfully slow slams which turn some people off to the style; the music is fast paced even during the catchy bits. There are plenty of harmonic squeals in the style of Cannibal Corpse, and those usually seem to spice up even the most boring song. This isn’t boring – not by any means. The tracks make you want to bang your head like a madman and hope that nobody from the civilized world sees you and gets worried.
By this point, I’m guessing you already know whether or not you would like this album. There are two schools of brutal death metal, one with slams, breakdowns, mosh parts, or whichever term you prefer to use, and, of course, the bands that prefer a nonstop pace. Stabwound fall into the former category. If you’re amused by lowbrow lyrics detailing violence and mutilation, and if you’re after a band that successfully blends brutality with memorable parts, I recommend to you Stabwound’s final artistic statement.
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