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Short legs with a massive upper body - 40%

Byrgan, May 24th, 2009

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.