Release DetailsLABEL Razorback
RELEASED ON 10/31/2006
Ultimo Mondo Cannibale (Reissue)
posted on 1/2007 By:
God damn. I’m not exactly sure how to classify Impetigo’s fantastic 1990 debut album. Best grindcore release ever? I’m not even sure if that does it justice. Ultimo Mondo Cannibale is one of the most outrageous discs ever put on the market, and it’s a real pity that the band didn’t get the respect they deserved at the time of its release. Countless grind and death metal bands, from Razorback’s supreme roster to the sloppiest third-world goregrind ever to grace Myspace, have cited Impetigo’s influence. And to be honest, the reason for that may not be evident upon an initial listen. Most people expect instant gratification from the grind genre, and that’s what it usually delivers. The average grindcore release sounds great to me the first time through, pretty good the second time, and a little boring by the third. That’s why I initially wrote this off: it just didn’t really click at first. My assessment was shockingly inaccurate. Why? Well I’ll tell you.
This album boasts the best vocal performance in all of extreme metal. If you don’t believe me, try a few tracks. From high-pitched jabbering to ludicrously deep grunting, just about every (harsh) vocal style is employed. There were no vocals like this in 1990. Carcass’s high/low approach seems practically boring in comparison. And if anybody is impressed by John Tardy’s refusal to let lyrics restrain him, they will be blown away by this. A discussion of the vocals might make it seem like not a lot is going on musically. Not so. Granted, this is not technical music; although the playing is completely competent, the band focuses on songwriting, not musicianship. And what glorious songs these are – Ultimo Mondo Cannibale is worth checking out for the sole fact that it contains songs entitled “Dis-organ-ized”, “Revenge of the Scabby Man”, and “Venereal Warts, Part 3", but don’t be misled; this is not the latest goregrind junk with photoshopped artwork and lame lyrics. This album is thematically based around classic horror, taking its name from Ruggero Deodato’s seminal cannibal film, released in the US as Jungle Holocaust. The album’s frequent samples are drawn from such classics as Fulci’s Zombi 2, and they contribute to the atmosphere instead of overshadowing Impetigo’s music, which is hard to describe without sounding ludicrous. Imagine giving demented savages some six stringers and a drum set and letting them go completely apeshit. This album is encrusted with sores and every note oozes pus – a primitive racket has never sounded so good. The warm production fits the music perfectly, highlighting individual playing but allowing the instruments and vocals to mesh organically.
Essentially, we have an album with great vocals, great songs, a great concept, great artwork, and a great atmosphere. I really can’t recommend this highly enough. This album has served as a blueprint for every good (and probably every bad) metal band thematically oriented around horror films. Even though Impetigo would probably never admit it, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this music is not only groundbreaking but also quite experimental and artistically noteworthy. Apart from playing really good metal, this is a band that was using movie samples, experimenting with bizarre vocals, and writing lyrics about horror movies at a time when such practices had hardly been explored within the metal genre. Practically avant-garde, if you ask me. So don’t think of this as lowbrow – “Who’s Fucking Who” is what life is really about, after all.
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