Conception of a Virulent Breed
posted on 4/2012 By:
Murder Intentions is the type of band that reviewers kind of hate to run across. On one hand, this Belgian quintet is pretty good, certainly competent and talented enough at what they do, and aside from some production problems that I’ll come to shortly, they’ve made a record that fits pretty squarely within the box of good, aggressive, and bludgeoning death metal. There is little wrong with Conception Of A Virulent Breed save its sonics – it’s reasonably well performed and mostly solidly written, minus a few boneheaded lyrical turns. And so I feel for them because, on the other hand, even when it hits on all cylinders, even when the band is at their best, Conception is decidedly B-list, shamelessly derivative and lacking virtually any angle or hook upon which a reviewer could focus except to say exactly what I’ve just said.
Nevertheless, the facts are these: Murder Intentions is a five-piece from West Flanders (howdily doodily, neighbors), and this six-track EP is the follow-up to 2009’s A Prelude To Total Decay. That record’s tones and tunes rode the breakdown-toting blast-happy modern death metal formula well enough, though it didn’t manage to distinguish itself from the pack in any significant way.
Conception picks up where Prelude ended, except that whereas Prelude sported a sharper, edgier production, Conception is muffled, fuzzy, soft. And in that distinction, most of the blunt-force power upon which Murder Intentions relies is lost and the EP sinks further into the mire of mediocrity upon which the band inherently teeters. Beyond the guitar tone and the lack of punch in the recording, the tunes are more of the same – many chunky riffs, some mosh-worthy breakdowns (that aren’t quite as generic or laughable as many), and those occasional ham-fisted lyrics that are regrettably clearly intelligible during half of the alternating death grunt v. hardcore bark vocal attack. (Witness the repeated cries of “All you fucking bitches get down on your knees!” and its follow-up couplet “Everything sucks, nowhere to go / all you fucking bitches gotta go” from “Failed Humanity.” There are lots of fucking bitches in West Flanders, it would appear.) Also, of the six new songs here, only four qualify as actual songs: The titular first track is an instrumental intro that rides a singular riff for two minutes, and the final track (“On The Sending Of The Soul”) is ambient noise and six minutes of dialogue from Max Payne.
All in, Murder Intentions is a decent but interchangeable modern death metal band whose previous record simply delivered the goods in a better manner than does this successor, and thus it’s difficult to recommend Conception Of A Virulent Breed to all but the most ardent collector of all things down-tuned and brutal. (Or to fans of the Max Payne film, assuming there are any.) These days, there’s simply too much death metal done similarly to warrant bothering with a lesser version.
A word on the scoring – Conception would be scored a half-point higher if it didn’t sound like it was being played through a speaker wrapped in wet cardboard.
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