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With one of the coolest album names ever, “Swamped in Gore”, an awesome album cover, and the first digital death metal album ever, this album displays simple but heavy as hell death metal.
Now, being the first of anything, there are bound to be flaws galore. And the production does have a few pretty significant flaws. Nothing that makes it unlistenable but flaws nonetheless. I’ll go over the positive aspects of the production: The guitars are really heavy, they are a little quiet and not quite as “in your face” as they could be but they still sound really good. Another positive are the drums. They sound amazing. No matter how fast they go, they are always at the front and are very loud and aggressive sounding. The vocals also sound really good on here. Now for the negatives: The bass is pretty much non-existent. It has a few standouts (Devourer of Souls) and if you listen REAL closely you can here a few clicks but pretty much not there. Everything could sound a bit louder and heavier but that pretty much sums up the negatives.
Now the songs are straight forward, simplified death metal. The riffs aren’t too complicated but they are insanely heavy and kind of catchy riffs. “Incinerated” is a good example of this, it starts with an insanely awesome blasting part and the catchy guitar riffs with the awesome vocals. It switches between the two and is easily one of the better songs on here. “Swamped in Gore” is a slower song with some very heavy riffs and an awesome chorus. “Devourer of Souls” has some of the best riffs on here and displays the bass with a few awesome stand outs.
One problem I see with this album is that there isn’t much variation as far as speed goes. It seems like it’s mostly mid-paced or blast beats. I kind of wish they would have incorporated some thrash in there but there isn’t much of it. The songs can be kind of long and because of the lack of variation, they can get tiring after a while. Although they lack variation, the songs can still be catchy so the songs don’t overstay their welcome for too long.
The lyrics on here are just flat out gross. Similar to what Cannibal Corpse writes about, just disgusting gore lyrics. Interesting to read because of how gross they are.
Overall, this is a good death metal album. It is a pretty much forgotten gem among the underground of the early death metal scene.
Best tracks – “Swamped in Gore”, “Incinerated”, and “Devourer of Souls”
Broken Hope, from my understanding are a pretty well praised brutal death metal band. Swamped in Gore is considered by many to be a masterpiece of brutality. I was very excited when I got this album, I couldn't wait to be pummeled by heavy, gory old school death metal. Damn I hate setting myself up.
Lets get one thing straight here, this is by no means a horrible album its just mediocre. This is partially my fault, the bar was set so high I was expecting another Cause of Death, but what I got wasn't anything outstanding. It took a good 3 or 4 listens to really let this album sink in.
For being one of the first death metal albums recorded digitally, this sure sounds bad. The sound is weak, everything is flat and muffled. Your going to have to turn this album up really loud in order to hear everything clearly. I'm not a fan of over produced, polished sounding albums but this is just unacceptable.
The band draws influences from Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse, and Autopsy. The music doesn't stay fast all the time, like Suffocation there are breakdowns mixed in with tight blasting. There is actually a good dose of groove on this album when used effectively, these parts will get you headbanging in no time!
The guitar work is nothing mind blowing, these riffs are not too technical. The drumming is solid, good double bass work and choppy, grinding blasting can be found in these songs. The vocals are excellent in my opinion. Joe Ptacek possesses a deep, throaty growl with some nice gurgling effects (Swamped in Gore, Cannibal Crave) thrown in.
The songwriting is a bit lackluster though. There is not much going on and after awhile everything starts to sound the same. All of these songs follow the same basic pattern, which makes them sound interchangeable. I don't really read into lyrics that much, but these are decent they get their point across.
This album is not all its cracked up to be. I actually think their follow up album The Bowels of Repugnance is a lot better. One thing is for sure this is brutal, make no mistake about it. I would recommend this for fans of the aforementioned bands or anyone looking for something heavy and brutal.
This is boxy death metal; the kind that has narrow slopes and when opened up contains empty contents. This is essentially a standard, run-of-the-mill translation of what could be viewed as what was happening musically in death metal in 1991. While some bands were going beyond that boundary with varying or intricate structure, or just plain engaging song writing that's going to last in people's mind till the next year's time. This isn't going to catch the same memorability as albums that have held up to the test such as Immolation's 'Dawn of Possession' or Autopsy's 'Mental Funeral' of the same year, that's assured.
This is simple music, simply put. It expands only on bass, thickness, and its gory lyrics. Yes, the bars have been pushed in extremities since and after. There's been bulk-talk about how the human body can be disassembled and rearranged. There's been guitars that have found new boundaries to sink to; vocals that seem to expunge any highness. Though one could easily come to an accurate conclusion and say this album didn't have its sights in mind.
Broken Hope do switch to different speeds on 'Swamped in Gore,' breaking the album up with slower, mid-paced and faster blast beated sections. The major problem here though isn't were they split up their speeds to try and create versatility, it is the simplicity that they do it in. This isn't the old gag of it's-so-simple-that's-why-it-works philosophy. This is essentially a failed attempt at grabbing your attention that might start to wonder. Having song writing that doesn't escape itself to be worthwhile; guitars that stick with upper, deeper and uncharacteristic notes. To get a little off-kilter, this isn't early Celtic Frost, using the same primitive areas on the neck of the guitar, yet still applying it with memorable riffs and using guitar lines that change at opportune times causing the song to rise, getting a certain dose of something without overdosing on it. I think Broken Hope's main agenda wasn't to try and go for surprising change-ups, and there's hardly a hook in sight. I think they were trying to go for an atmosphere that would be heavy enough to hamper you immobile. Like listening to the basic heaviness of Obituary's 'Slowly We Rot' of two years prior. Instead they cause you to lumber around in a sleepish stupor from a basicness that doesn't thoroughly excite, and an album that combined with all of its brutish nature doesn't bring anything to the table that's hardly worth a trade, or is barely noticed when it is gone.
This has a lot of mid-paced sections, crunching the guitars along as the drums pulverize the double bass pedals; vocals belch into the microphone as a monotone, unnatural force of nature. With their characteristic display in mind, I don't find that the music lacks ability: meaning that they were attempting to play death metal and didn't conform, and the production is quite loud and evenly distributed too. Just things here aren't far-seeing and lacks that "something" else. Essentially the musicians match each other, but don't challenge themselves to overcome and add something that will be remembered; like a technique, for instance, that might stand out among the crowd.
'Swamped in Gore' went for an atmosphere that reads like a standard ghost story: hearing the same basic tale loses its enigma over time. Broken Hope's song writing at that point is simple in direction and not long-stretching in its overall final outcome. It can be looked at as stuck in the year that it came out, unescapable because of its mismatched short legs and heavy, upper body development.