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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.