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The_Evil_Hat, October 3rd, 2008

My head hurts. I generally like to start reviews by giving some idea of what a band is about, or by making a seemingly intelligent comment or something like that. I just can’t do it this time, because my head hurts so fucking badly. I had all of what I was planning to say, with regards to this album, all nice and organized, but I can’t even remember it anymore.

Infernal Revulsion is a Japanese slam death metal band. Their music is in the vein of other great bands like Devourment, Soils of Fate and Despondency. For those of you that don’t know, slam death is pretty much brutal death metal that is jam packed with breakdowns (that are NOT of the –core variety). For the most part, Infernal Revulsion manages to pull this style off in an enjoyable – if unoriginal – way.

The guitars are great. Heavy as hell slams pound you into submission without mercy and tempos are quite varied. To my incredible surprise this album isn’t completely devoid of solos, and when they appear they’re actually fairly melodic and well played. The bass is somewhat audible and has a few breaks, all of which are good. The vocals are fairly standard growls, and the lyrics are traditional gore lyrics.

Now, if the band had stopped there, everything could have been okay, but no, the band needed to add in the final member: the drummer. Like George Kollias or Pete "Commando" Sandoval, Masa primarily uses high speed double bass drum barrages and keeps the time with his snare or hi hat. The double bass drum tone here is awful. It’s beyond awful. It is the most triggered thing I’ve ever heard. I can make a more drum like sound if I go, “bumbumbumbumbumbumbumbum” as fast as I can. It’s really that bad. Every hit sounds like a fucking click. Clickclickclickclickclickclickclickclickclick. It gives you a fucking headache within the first thirty seconds of the first song, and it doesn’t let up. This is a hundred times worse than Vital Remain’s abuse of gravity blasting. At least there undeniable heaviness was gained from the drums, not to mention incredible skill was needed to play them. These aren’t even all that fast. They’re just awful. It certainly doesn’t help that they’re mixed about as loud as the guitars. It’s as if someone set a metronome to a hundred eighty beats per minute and then just forgot about it while the band played. Actually, that’s not fair. While metronomes don’t sound particularly good, they don’t sound actively BAD. These do. The drumming on the rest of the album is decent, on the few occasions that the guy lays off the double bass for a bit the music becomes a dozen times more enjoyable, sadly, those times are rare as hell. If the double bass drum was removed, even if all that was left in its place was a time keeping hi hat, I’d still rank this album (forty or fifty) points higher. Alas, the double bass drum hasn’t been removed.

Normally production isn’t a particularly big deal for me. Even if a tone sucks I can ignore it and focus on the music on the whole. Here, that’s not really possible. This just gives you a headache. It’s damn enjoyable when the drums stop for a bit, but those moments are way too rare to redeem the album. The double bass drum truly ruined this album. I can’t recommend this for anyone. If you want enjoyable slam death, check out Stabwound or some other band, just stay the fuck away from this.