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Brutal death metal band Expurgate‘s debut full length album Dementia Tremens is a relentless piece of art, and with the band boasting themselves to be the “only slamming brutal death metal band out of Denver”, Dementia Tremens fortunately manages to cause some nice, impactful impressions on those who chance upon them for the first time.
The influences that the band draws from such bands as Suffocation are immediately clear as the listener is greeted with crushing, heavily palm-muted riffs right from the start with 01 86. The entire listening journey of Dementia Tremens is brutal as fuck, with everything put in place by the band to ensure that nobody comes out with a neck that isn’t sore. While the heavy chugging style of Ian packs most of the punch in the music, songs like Fermented Concubine Ingurgitation see him providing a generous dosage of pinch harmonics, reminding one of other contemporary acts such as Cerebral Bore. Apart from the crushing riffs unleashed by Ian, bassist Devin also retains a high presence throughout the record, providing a threatening growl at the background, easily executing the complex basslines, and along with the punchy bass tone one is reminded of bands such as Defiled.
Chris’ drumming on the album is especially spectacular and complex as hell, and he easily displays his versatility as the album progresses, from the furious blast beats that he executes without much effort to the slower, heavier segments where he punishes his kit with merciless hits to the skin. And while the pig squeal style of vocals is hardly my favourite style, Jaymes manages to put all the various instruments together, and the alternating between pig squeals and the more traditional death growls definitely works well on Dementia Tremens.
The short run time of the album of 23 minutes also ensure that those who can’t sit still will be able to enjoy this album as well, giving a somewhat grindcore-feel, especially on tracks like Methamphetamine Induced Surrogacy Malformation.
Overall, Expurgate‘s Dementia Tremens displays the band’s nice fit to the Comatose roster, and if one likes slamming brutal death metal from Suffocation to Devourment to even their label mates Kraanium, this album would certainly not disappoint.
The 'Mile-High City' might be the last place one might expect to find such a gurgling, lowdown pile of intestines as Expurgate's full-length debut Dementia Tremens, and yet here they are, taking a dump all over the snowy peaks and flats of their territory with an album of misogynistic, meat headed slam breakdowns and flights of faster, old school brutality. Let's get one fact out of the way first: there is not a single individualistic or unique characteristic to this album which the avid death metal listener won't have heard hundreds of times over the past decade. Between the thuggish palm muted moshing components and eruptions of tremolo picked guitars, everything does seem as if its been paraphrased from the band's influences, from Suffocation to Lividity to Devourment, but despite this shortcoming the Coloradans have put together a taut and compact 23 minute debut which purists for this form won't find much to scoff at, even if it isn't exactly pushing the envelope off the nearest cliff.
These are not songs concerned with leaving a lasting impact on your memory so much as an immediate impact on your chin, tummy, scrotum, or wherever you like to take your blows. The guitars follow a very percussive pattern which essentially doubles up the drums for a one two bludgeoning combination, and the low end tendency of the notation will churn your stomach even after a spoonful of Pepto Bismol. There is nothing exceptional dirty or raw about the production, this is by the numbers, modern sounding stuff with a lot of punch to it, but clear enough so when the group breaks out its accelerated picking sequences you can make out every note. Pinched squeals all over the place, par for the course. In particular I rather enjoyed the bass tone, which is pluggy and potent enough to lend some added 'bounce' to some of the neanderthal rhythms, but overall the instruments are all mixed straight on the level and I never felt as if anything was drowning anything else in a swamp of entrails. Which is good and bad, since there's no real atmosphere of note other than the driving, pummeling mechanics of the members' limbs, but pretty standard for this niche. The vocals are club-like, blunt gutturals with an effective, toilet-flush sustain on them that will not surprise anyone, but function well enough within this particular fleshy plumbing.
Some of the lyrical placement over the chugging is hilarious here, in particular through "Repugnant Torso Defilement" and "40 oz. Facefuck". Songs that you would NOT want to share with your grandmother or girlfriend (okay, maybe if you've got a particularly masochistic counterpart); but I broke out laughing and I'm sure it was not unintentional on the band's part. I also laud that Expurgate vary up the content enough through the rather short album that it never grows dull or exhausting; I've encountered a number of these slam-oriented bands who focus all too much on the one set of slower, chugging gaits, and the Coloradans at least seem open to incorporating some of their more intense and busied influences to provide a decent range of tempos that really let you 'feel out' the breakdowns. Ultimately, it's a solid debut that will sate many fans who comb the rosters of labels like Sevared, Amputated Vein and Comatose (the last of which is releasing this), and worth a listen if you enjoy decently structured and produced death of this variety ala Kraanium, Ingested or Abominable Putridity. On the other hand, I didn't find the riff progressions timeless, distinctive or catchy enough that I'd revisit it very often.