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Do you like a lot of abuse, but in a good way? - 82%

stigg_a_licious, July 16th, 2009

Sulfur and Semen. An appropriate album title for Birds of Prey's second album. This album is a lyrical and musical mixture of raw violence, sexual and mental abuse, and pulling thumbs out off asses in a southern, sludge-thrash sort of way.

Musically, the guitars aren't anything too special. However, one thing they do provide are the closest thing to "catchy" riffs sludge metal has to offer. They're not dull - but they're not that spectacular by any means. But, they are "catchy" and addicting to listen to (I don't like to throw around the word "catchy" in a metal review, but this album is the closest it gets before it get's annoying). If Birds of Prey have something going for them, it's their riffs. Sure, they aren't the best, most intricate out there, but they utilize the general sound of thrash riffs with the slow, dragging feel of sludge to make an interesting sound. One aspect of the album that is impressive is the drumming. Besides the heavy use of the open high-hat, the bass rolls are fantastic, and the cymbals are crisp and bright. A great contrast to the gritty feel the other instruments provide.

The lyrical content of "Sulfur and Semen" is what makes this album so special. By special, I mean disturbingly entertaining, like that kid who forced his own poop in the pretty girl's mouth in kindergarten. That's what makes Birds of Prey so much engaging to listen to - domestic abuse, prison sentences, abusing the handicapped, alcohol abuse (see a trend here?), it's so intense, but yet they manage to poke subtle fun at it. They're not over the top about it, and they aren't trying to be comedians. Some of their lyrics are almost satirical in nature, but not out of the realm of realism. They're so real that you want to keep listening to see where the story is going to go. It's definitely worth a listen, especially if you've had some fucked up things happen in your past, and you have a sense of humor about it.