Release DetailsLABEL Xtreem Music
RELEASED ON 12/1/2006
Gore Blessed To The Worms
posted on 11/2007 By:
Rarely do I get so profane in my reviews, but with wide open Chevy Chase eyes, I’m going to slam my paws down on the keyboard in the general vicinity of the correct letters of this ol’ reviewer standby. Here goes…
HO[l y sghi9t.
Holy shit indeed. And, please note, that’s not a good holy shit either. That’s a holy shit of the “So…incredibly…frustrating!” variety. Why? Because Disgorge, Mexico’s worthy addition to the “Exactly How Many Metal Bands Are Going to Name Themselves Disgorge?” question, newest album sounds, on the surface, exactly like everything else they’ve put out; a heavily Carcass-influenced slice of brutal death that's, you know, totally and completely batshit insane. They’re still gorier than the aftermath of giving a flee-infested chimp hooks for hands, still filthier than a 2girls1cup shoot after prune taco night, and still louder than all of Loudness being covered in nitroglycerin and fed through an industrial shredder. And yet, Gore Blessed to the Worms leaves me colder than Walt Disney’s dick and I can’t exactly pinpoint why, because, really, it’s the same damn material. The same speedy blasts, the same ridiculous guitar licks, the same guttural burps (but, now with a new lead throat), and even the same kind of quirky intro with the ivories. And, sure, I could say that I don’t like this because I feel like they’re taking a step back, trading the unhinged aggression for, gasp, a few more memorable riffs and a slightly more progressive approach that channels, say, the slower riffs of Symphonies of Sickness or Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious, but, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy those moments when they popped up. (In fact, the overt moments of Carcass worship are the best thing this album has to offer). So what gives? I...don’t...know! Holy shit!
Of course, this is something I would’ve never written about Necroholocaust. I was hooked the second that fave o’ mine dropped back in ’03 because it was absolutely bloodthirsty, barbaric, and sounded like few other brutal death albums at the time. Rarely was there any time or any room to breathe, as the band’s avalanche of Carcass riffs taken to the absolute limits and balls-out blasting hit the spot, the spot that pines for over-the-top death metal extremity. And, least we forget, part of the reason Necroholocaust painted smiles was because of the production that made those quick picked riffs and those battering blasts about as uncompromising as you could get. The buzz of the abused amps and the constant rapid fire punch/kick of the snare/bass drum never ended. So, if you’re a noise-freak like me, the continuous onslaught of distorted mayhem was at once calming and calamitous, like waiting for the dying wheeze of an old heating unit to kick on so you could go to sleep. The volume was exhilarating, ably triggering some long dormant fight or flight response, and the speed was like getting a pound of Dave Mustaine’s finest java fired via canon straight at your nuts. Throw in some gurgles that were damn near irresistible to this gorehound, and you had a record that always found a way to stay in my deck. Glorious.
Gore Blessed to the Worms, though? Eh, not so much. It’s certainly not bad, but it lacks the je ne sais quoi of that album. Maybe it's because it comes off as being more measured, more concerned with creating something that will last in the minds of its listeners instead of coming off like a living-in-the-moment giddy n’ gory sugar rush. And, you know, that would be great and I would be fine with that if the overall material was stronger (because, what's lasting in my mind right now isn't good) and if they made a true move away from their old style. Instead, here, since they‘re still trying to hold on, it comes off like a pale imitation because the expectations were maxed out for this album. Hurtful too is the fact that, even with some, dare I say, accessible moments, they don’t break from the predictable BDM cycle of unending br00falness with little to no variation which, even the most hardened fan can admit, gets downright exhausting after fifteen ticks of the minute hand. (Aside: Is that a contradiction since I like Necroholocaust for that exact reason? Yeah, fo' sho. Feel free to call me on that). So, the ultra-familiar slower riffs and the stolen synth stabs, while great out of context, end up feeling like awkwardly placed rest stops, solely there as an admirable attempt to break up the monotony of the cleaned up speedfests. And, that’s one of the major problems here; the production. It’s way too clean and just doesn’t have that ridiculous bottom nor the destructive mids that their previous speaker slayer delivered. I mean, yeah, it's still a "good" death album, but, and I hate to make you scramble for your Nerdictionary, it sounds like, sometime during the three year layoff, the band got nerfed. It’s Disgorge, yeah, but it’s not the one I was expecting nor the one that I really wanted, which is kind of ironic, because, as stated previously, this is pretty much the same damn thing. I don’t get it, either. Holy shit.
But, take what I say with a grain of salt. If you haven’t experienced the second oldest Disgorge before, there’s still a lot to like here. Looking at this with an unbiased frame of mind, I can tell you that this is still a celebration of Carcass that measures up with the best in the biz, but, unlike others, Disgorge kicks up the pace and heaviness of their patho-infused death. (Although, they have been moving away from the patho shtuff lyrically. Not quite Lykathea Aflame's new-age spirituality, but, certainly, a healthy bit of growth). Worth noting too is that the musicianship has improved and I’m sure that fresh meat will feed like starved fiends on tracks like “Chronic Corpora Infest,” a return to the kind of tunes they were putting out on their first couple, just spit-shined and with less grind. But, older and wiser me just can’t groove with ’em anymore and that has been a never-ending source of annoyance for this scribe. I can’t figure it out, but maybe I’m not supposed to. Maybe I’ve just lost touch with my brutal death side, which is a real possibility and something that scares the crap out of me. So, really, and this is going to sound so weird coming from a self-absorbed, jaded critic like myself, but I wouldn’t take me as the gospel here and you should check out the lashes to be fully swayed one way or the other. I can say this though: If you’re into Carcass or if you’re into brutal death, give this a look, and if it doesn’t do anything for you, you and me can have a Necroholocaust listening party and howl drunken “holy shits” into the night like coyotes after a kill.
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