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I’ll preface this review by saying that I don’t like brutal death metal. Something about it always rubs me the wrong way so that I end up feeling like I’m listening to deathcore’s older brother. This shouldn’t be the case, since at least brutal death metal can do something right and sometimes even sound interesting. But I still can’t get the image of a retard being hit by a train out of my head whenever I listen to it. However, when looking around for good death metal releases, Gorgasm’s new album, Orgy of Murder, kept popping into the discussion no matter who I was talking with. In the interest of being open-minded (and not wanting to miss out on a good album), I decided to give this album a few spins.
From what I can gather, Gorgasm are a pretty big band in the brutal death metal scene. With that in mind, this is their first album since 2003, so I guess this was released to some degree of anticipation from Gorgasm’s fans. For starters, this is better than most brutal death metal I’ve heard before. This is pretty much a display of riffs over blastbeats, but at least the riffs are pretty nifty. Of course, I’ve heard much better riffs this year, but brutal death metal goes for simplicity, and in terms of writing utterly simple riffs that happen to be interesting, Gorgasm succeed. I particularly enjoy the ones in ‘Decapitation Sodomy,’ but that’s probably because they most resemble regular death metal riffs out of any riffs on the whole album.
The drumming here, however, is boring. Just like every other fucking brutal death metal band I’ve ever heard. The “variation” here (if you can call it that) literally consists of the drummer changing between blastbeats and basic double bass drumming, occasionally changing it up for a transitional riff that lasts for about 3 seconds. When I listen to metal, the thing I probably focus most on is percussion, so with this in mind, it’s easy to understand why I’m bored with this aspect of the album. One could argue that Cryptopsy and Suffocation were influences on brutal death metal, but at least those two bands have very interesting drummers.
That criticism leads into another one–songwriting. This album is basically thirty minutes of riffs over boring drumming. Sure, the vocals are fine, but they’re not that distinctive. If you made it through the whole duration, you likely just listened for the riffs, because that’s the only interesting thing going on here. Otherwise, the songs are just structured around blastbeats and “not-blastbeats.” I especially hate it when they try and slow down the riff to sound “extra br00tal,” like in ‘Axe to Mouth’ at around 1:43. This is when I start making deathcore comparisons (although I fully recognize that this is better than deathcore). Otherwise, the transitioning between sections of song is either boring or non-existant, basically pulling an Opeth and saying “WHOOPS, TIME TO ABRUPTLY CHANGE SHIT UP,” with the result somehow always being predictable.
In addition to everything I’ve said above, Gorgasm do the stereotypical brutal death metal thing to do and go with creepy audio samples and perverted song titles. Honestly, this lame attempt at shock value does nothing to me anymore and is basically in the same category of any lyrics about satan or any other generic lyrical topic in metal.
With that said, I feel like I’m being a bit too negative. This is certainly not an album that I personally love yet, but if I was a brutal death metal fan, I would most definitely enjoy this for everything that it does right within the brutal death metal archetype. Maybe this album will even grow on me, because what it does right, it does really well. There are definitely some fun tracks on here that are making me look at brutal death metal in a better light (‘Exhibit of Repugnance’ is pretty damn good). But to anyone who isn’t a brutal death metal fan, I doubt that this will be drastically changing anyone’s opinion any time soon. It”s good for what it is, and I’ll definitely be giving it regular listens throughout the year in hopes of liking it more. Enjoy, brutal death metal fans!
Written for http://thenumberoftheblog.com/