The Wretched Spawn
posted on 1/2004 By:
This band needs no introduction obviously. They’ve been a favorite of mine for quite awhile and are one of the very few bands that I can safely say have gotten better w/ every release. Every album gets more energy, technicality, and trademark craftsmanship than the last one. This is a band that’s focused & committed to putting metal out on a regular basis.
Firstly, it is with great pleasure that I announce to you that the questionable production on Gore Obsessed has been rectified. The Wretched Spawn has a sound more relative to Bloodthirst in terms of clarity and instrument presence, but the percussion is not as dominant. In a few spots it sounds like Webster’s bass is mixed higher than the kick drum here, and it takes a little adjusting here and there on the stereo knobs to get the separation you desire. Still, it blows the one-dimensional production of Gore Obsessed out of the water and over the woods all the way to grandmother’s house. Secondly I just have to comment on how these goons have not even come close to losing a step w/ age. The speed is at full gore. Almost every song has enormous energy, but the real runners are moments in “Psychotic Precision”, “Frantic Disembowelment”, “Cyanide Assasin” and my personal fave, “Blunt Force Castration”, a wholesome anthem delving into the process of having your testicles obliterated by means of a sledge hammer. Even when the Corps. decides to turn down the tempo, it’s still of the highest quality. The title track “The Wretched Spawn” and “Festering in the Crypt” are of the carpool lane variety, but still have the depth and definition of any of the skin blazers. The title track has a massive riff that creeps along w/ huge chunk tone and a big-assed note bend circa Dimebag Darrell’s work in the extinct Pantera. Pat & Jack utilize 7 strings to the fullest. The tone is so full & muscular. Riffs are new & fresh, except for just a few that sound like descendants of Bloodthirst songs. “Nothing Left to Mutilate” is no doubt a new Cannibal Classic. You have to hear the song to know what I’m talking about. It briefly sacrifices serial killer rage for a slightly “softer” songwriting feel. The song is put together in an act of pure genius; it’s just one of those unforgettable tunes. “Rotten Body Landslide” is a display of the new technicality of Cannibal Corpse & their ultimate patented stomp-groove neck-snapping low B string riffing. Reminds me of “Compelled to Lacerate” from Gore Obsessed, only better. With all the premium material on here, there’s one song I skip every time, that being “Slain”. I don’t know how to put this song to words. It’s just plain as Jane & as boring as dry toast. What the hell is this? No, the whole album is not their best material, just most songs. I’ve heard raw demos that I’d prefer to listen to over this song. A small imperfection in the Oil of Olay face of gore. “Bent Backwards & Broken” is a song of acquired taste. It takes some listens to get into it, mainly because the riffing is all over the fucking fretboard. It’s almost as if the entire song is one riff itself. Very technical and jumpy; good shit, just not for Cannibal fans looking for the blasting power delivery of songs like “Blowtorch Slaughter” or “Hammer Smashed Face”.
As I sit here with Frantic Disembowelment on repeat, I reflect upon comments I’ve seen from “gore purists” who dismiss this band’s newer material simply because it lacks the primitive barbarism of Eaten Back to Life. I regard many newer CC songs as some of the best metal has to offer for the genre. When you listen to recent offerings on a good set of headphones, you uncover just how layered and complex this stuff really is. The metamorphosis from 15 years ago is nothing short of astounding. If you’re against progression of any kind then I guess you should keep your distance and head to United Guttural. But even w/ this MetalBlade promo copy, w/ all its skipping and popping and cheek flicking noises throughout the whole disc, I can still easily identify superb songwriting and I will tell you that this is some of their best ever.
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