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There have been a handful of instances in the history of metal where an otherwise consistently good band somehow produces a completely worthless album, for no apparent reason. "Repulsive Conception" most definitely belongs in this category, along with other abortions such as "St Anger" "Virtual XI", and "Breeding the Spawn" to name a handful.
Half of what makes this one so terrible is the contrast between what it followed and what came after. "The Bowels of Repugnance" is an insane melange of sludge-riddled brutality, gut-churning sound effects and beautiful neo-classical pieces, like a gore-drenched brutal version of "Blessed Are The Sick". "Loathing", the followup to this waste of plastic, is one of the most impressively executed slabs of clinical brutal death metal ever created. Yet somehow "Repulsive Conception" has all the charm of a rotten potato. The production is a complete mess, squashing all the guitars and bass into an inaudible drone and leaving the drums to click away like fingernails on a tabletop. The vocals just kind of gurgle away over the top without ever truly standing out, so you're basically left with 46 minutes of "bluuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp".
To add insult to injury, they somehow felt the need to include a full 15 songs here, including an absurdly pointless Twisted Sister cover that renders the song nearly unrecognizable. Sure there's a couple of interludes, but even those are completely forgettable. Otherwise it's impossible to tell when one song ends and the next starts unless you sit there staring at the CD player's time display.
I suspect there must have been a reason for the uselessness of this album - all sorts of behind the scenes issues can interfere with the creative process, and perhaps the liner notes would give a clue if they weren't printed so small as to be literally unreadable - but they should have just scrapped it and released a 7" of "Pitbull Grin" and the two instrumentals, and then moved on.
Ever since I started listening to heavier music 34 years ago with "Unleashed In The East" I think, I wanted it to be heavy, fast, and memorable. Also, ever since I started reading the reviews on this site, I always thought you should give a 100 to a record only if you listened to it at least 100 times. I know, silly. "Repulsive Conception" is definitely HEAVY, pretty fast, and memorable, and that's why over the last 18 years I listened to it over 100 times...and it still sounds great.
Actually, I think it's one of the heaviest albums out there, and frankly almost anything produced by Brian Griffin kicks ass. Just listen to "The Fine Art of Murder". Everything is just perfect here: guitars, solos, drums, vocals. The sound reminds me of "Dawn of Possession", but it's even more "meaty". As for pace, you have everything from blast beats to "romantic" interludes with slow parts that are really crushing, the best examples being the opener and Twisted Sister cover, which is to me probably the heaviest cover of any band done by any band. And riffs and arrangements, they are totally memorable and "hummable". Unlike with some technical bands (Defeated Sanity, Decrepit Birth, Neuraxis, etc., which are great to listen, but you just can't remember any riffs or melodies afterward), after a couple listens to the record you can actually remember songs and tell them apart.
I won't go into each song separately as they all rule, and to me this is a death metal classic. If you love "Dawn", "Effigy", and "None So Vile", then you have to own this album. And frankly, you should get all Broken Hope records as they all are way above average. I wouldn't give any of them less than 80.
Along with Malevolent, Deicide, Suffocation, and Immolation, they are probably the most consistent death metal band and their new album will be for me the most anticipated record since "Breeding The Spawn", and I hope they will not make the same mistake as Suffo did and let Brian produce it as well.
Usually it’s a bad idea to reference points made by another review but I find it hilarious that for the “better” songs he mentioned, two are instrumental interludes and another is a cover song! I am regurgitating the point because it contains a vital truth about this album; the song writing is pretty lame!
The songs contain a few elements: slow directionless riffs, a few blast parts that sound haphazardly created, some deep moaning warbled growls (that honestly.., are pretty cool!) and rarely do we deviate from this. There are no exciting false climaxes, or for that matter epic builds. No moments that would make you years later state with reckless enthusiasm: "yah! that riff at 2:43 of "The Internal Twin" sends chills down my spine!" It’s just “here’s some slow riffs, here’s some slightly faster riffs…we’re too lazy to make a “song” per se so… this will have to do”
The production is also off; the guitars are drowned by too much over tracking and effects, the result is just TOO bottom heavy to sound remotely decent (the leads sound good though, clear and mixed fairly high). Yet the drums remain thin and very clear-it’s a contrast that just can not work. Coupled with the garbled vocals being produced very well (so bizarre…) you have a train wreck of a production that leaves you asking yourself: “How could the band’s own guitarist make his band sound SO amateur!?”
This album was just plagued with problems when it was first released and to this day remains their most creatively inept. Besides the above points it was also a huge step down charm wise from the first two. The atmosphere was gone, the silliness was gone, all that remained the same was the hilarious lyrics and Joe’s trademark belching “vocals”. It’s no shock that the two best songs are the ones that sound most like the sophomore septic sludge classic “The Bowels of Repugnance” (those two tracks being “GrindBox” & “Pitbull Grin”). Thankfully after this release the band went back to being listenable with the raw, sincere and menacing “Loathing”.
Not really recommended for anyone… just download “GrindBox” & “Pitbull Grin” and maybe check the video of “Into the Necrosphere” on youtube. Besides those few songs-avoid this, even if you like their other albums!