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So, like, overemphasizing things unusually? IDGI - 84%

MutantClannfear, September 20th, 2013

The Japanese slam death metal scene is usually held in really high regard, and with good reason - a lot of the bands there know their shit extremely well for one reason or another, so the batting average for a Japanese slam band is usually extremely high. Gorevent are probably the most famous out of all of them, and for this reason they seem to get a fair bit more negative attention than the average BDM band, but you'd be foolish to let this slide by you for that reason alone - it's not a classic or anything, but very good at the least, and deserving of any and all positive attention it gets.

Gorevent are one of those rare slam death metal bands that actually manage to sound quite a bit like Cephalotripsy, and this fact in and of itself puts them several tiers ahead of most of their contemporaries by default. It's not a deliberate clone project, but there are definitely similarities to be found in their methods of writing slams - liberal use of the double kick pedals, occasional blast beats laid on top of slams, and a rather diverse selection of time signatures and rhythmic accents at play. Most slam bands end up sounding entirely different from how this does, not by conscious choice but because they just tend to be pretty bad at writing songs of this style. Most of the bands that actually get it right - Gorevent, Cerebral Incubation, Epicardiectomy - sound something like Cephalotripsy not because they're intentional Cephalotripsy clones, but because Cephalotripsy are essentially the archetypal example of how slam death metal should be written.

Anyways, I actually think it's Gorevent's differences from Cephalotripsy that really bring out their individual strengths. This was only released a year after Uterovaginal Insertion of Extirpated Anomalies, and it's already taking slam's songwriting style and making it even more grotesquely in-your-face in just about every way. This is some seriously caveman shit right here: tone-wise, the guitars are probably more bass than melody at this point, to the point where you can basically feel them just as much as you can actually hear them. There's less melodic variation in the slams as well, which isn't necessarily a bad thing; Gorevent don't ever feel repetitive or tedious, it's just that they (possibly intentionally?) use waaaay less melodic variation, which makes each track just feel like a mechanical, bludgeoning assault. Gorevent also use tremolo riffs on occasion, but unlike most slam bands' attempts at tremolo, they're actually quite consistently good (though I guess being drowned in a monster of a production job certainly helps). Oh, it's probably also worth mentioning at this point that Gorevent are much slower than Cephalotripsy are... or, no, it's more like they use speed on occasion, but it's all for naught. The guitars are huge, and the drummer's attempts to push them around are practically futile (despite the tone of his kit, which is pretty impressively thick and massive), so they just sort of perform this slow, barbiturate-induced trudge through their rhythmic patterns. Even the blast beats feel strangely slow, but in a really cool way - see around 0:35 of "Bleeding" for a pretty good example of what I'm talking about, the way it just sounds like grooves getting smeared across a page with a fast tempo backing them up.

The band's manner of connecting slams together is sufficiently logical and, as I've said, there's more than enough variation to keep this interesting on its own terms even if it's not exactly reinventing the wheel otherwise. I suppose the only outright downside would be the vocalist, whose poorly recorded, muffled and extremely weak croak/gurgles really don't do the music any favors. A more active and interesting vocalist would serve this music a lot better - the guitars are already cool and heavy enough to get the listener to consciously interact with the music, but without an astonishing vocal performance, the package feels distinctly incomplete. Then again, who listens to slam death metal bands for their vocals anyways? Abnormal Exaggeration is just another example of Japan being awesome and knowing exactly what they're doing when it comes to writing BDM; go buy a copy, or take out the one collecting dust on your shelves and give it a hug, at least.