posted on 1/2008 By:
Ah, late 80's extreme metal. Before black metal, thrash, death metal, and grind had become strictly defined subgenres with their own cadre of stylistic schools, they all sort of overlapped in the middle; many bands kind of slopped over into most or all of them. Anal Vomit, though they've only been around a paltry 16 years, have been for the duration of their existence cranking out (mostly demos of) this omnivorously extreme throwback metal. Think the frantic hyperthrash of Morbid Visions-era Sepultura and Sarcofago (shocker: Anal Vomit is from Peru) bookended by Slayer on one side and Morbid Angel on the other. It has eminently been done before, and better to boot, but for some reason Depravation is a fun listen anyway.
This stuff is truly mired in the early days of what has become death and black metal. The guitars are a wall of constant doublepicking, cranking out sped-up Slayer riff after sped-up Slayer riff broken up occasionally by a squeal-y, dive-y, gibberish filled noise solo. The drums jackhammer away without fail, occasionally redlining into a slow blastbeat but mostly sticking to the very extremity of the standard thrash beat with the occasional kit-spanning tom roll tossed in for good measure. Bassist/vocalist 'Possessor' might as well just trash his inaudible instrument and stick to his ambiguously old-school rasp. Record it all on a four-track and dunk the whole mess in a tub of reverb and there you have it. Song-by-song analysis would be totally ridiculous here, as Depravation blows through in ten two-to-four minute chunks of frantic homogeneity.
But I like Anal Vomit for some reason. Despite its redundancy, despite its implicit mediocrity, there's something about Depravation that gets my blood going. I'm a fan of the band's style, though not a rabid one, and certainly not enough to prefer this to any of the bands mentioned above. Maybe it's the fact that these guys, with their ridiculously bad name, juvenile Satanism, and tenuous grasp of the language, have somehow kept the manic punk energy that propels this stuff (don't kid yourselves, metal dorks) alive through the years. Maybe I just felt like hearing a band that sounded like this. You got me. I can't really recommend Anal Vomit to the average listener, because there's a perfectly fair chance that you will just hear another early Sepultura clone, but I gotta hand it to 'em: these dudes put a cheesy metal grimace on my face.
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