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Anyone who's even a bit familiar with the brutal death metal scene knows that Voracious Contempt is Internal Bleeding's attempt at blatantly copying Suffocation's Pierced From Within, and in the band's defense, they actually pull it off quite well, sans the complexity, which is largely absent here. The lack of that particular trait allows for a lot more foul thuggery to be injected into the music, which is practically inevitable considering both Suffocation and Internal Bleeding are from New York. Whether it's due to mindless copying or intentional, this album is riddled with thuggish slams and insipid breakdowns, I assume the band knew what they were doing as Suffocation don't really slam as much as they break down, but I wouldn't be surprised either if these guys just happened to stumble upon the technique that would later become known as 'slamming'. In any case, the breakdowns and slams are what makes this so goddamn enjoyable throughout, this album is just a complete joy to hear, it's just so wrong in so many ways, but I absolutely adore it purely for that reason.
This album's sound can obviously be traced back to Suffocation's 3rd outing, the overly distorted fuzz of the guitars, the insanely loud bass and the deep, somewhat gurgled vocals. After hearing this album in its entirety though, I can't help but wonder if Suffocation are even capable of producing an album properly, because where Pierced From Within is basically the least worst-sounding album of their discography, Voracious Contempt manages to sound better than the album it tries to copy. It doesn't suffer from an overly obnoxious bass drum and it doesn't sound overly deep or anything alike. I wouldn't say this production job is perfect as it's shoddy and perhaps overly fuzzy, but for an album with a focus on heaviness and NYDM-influenced breakdowns, I'd say it works damn near perfect. The guitar tone itself is a bit thinner than the one found on its direct influence, and thus the riffs tend to be drowned in the distortion quite a bit, but in general there's not a whole lot wrong with the sound of this album.
Complexity was one of Pierced From Within's main traits, and for some reason, in the process of copying that album's musical formula, Internal Bleeding somehow completely forgot about that aspect of the sound, and it results in something that sounds a lot more down to earth. Whether these guys are actually capable of mimicking it is something that we'll never know, but I actually don't feel the album suffers from it at all. It makes this a lot more fun than any Suffocation album ever, and while the musicianship might not be as impressive as theirs, there's obviously nothing wrong with it either. These guys were well up for they task they faced, and while the tightness and technique of these riffs might have been the result of copying, there's obviously some skill needed to pull it off, needless to say, these guys did it pretty well. The individual performances are hardly impressive, but they all do their job like they're supposed to and that's really all you can say. Rini does a decent job at imitating Frank Mullen but he seems to be a bit more genuinely rooted in brutal death metal, thus not being very comprehensible and somewhat gurgle-y instead of Mullen's more growl-y style. It actually surprises me that the lyrics are pretty good and not mindless copying from Pierced From Within, they definitely hint towards that album, but I feel the lyrics have enough of a story of themselves to not come off as copy/paste material.
The songwriting is arguably where this album suffers the most, I have the idea the band ran out of ideas somewhere halfway through because a lot of songs sound pretty similar and certain breakdowns are entirely interchangeable. The songs also seem to be somewhat juxtaposed, there's not a lot of clever songwriting and breakdowns or uptempo passages basically just happen without much of an indication. In short, the songs are absolutely and positively dumb. The addition of more breakdowns and slams arguably reinforces that, but the music in general sounds far from intelligent, even during the faster and somewhat complex parts. Perhaps one could classify this as an early version of deathcore, and I can see the logic in that, but I myself feel this is pretty basic NYDM that just happens to have slams crammed in, there's not a lot of deathcore found here apart from the blast/groove template the album operates from.
So, while definitely flawed and totally void of creativity, Voracious Contempt serves as one of the most enjoyable death metal records ever. It's mindless fun and great to headbang to, it definitely possesses a high level of fist-pounding energy and it's just great fun to listen to. As a fanboy of Suffocation's 3rd album, I have to say that this isn't as good as the album it tried to replicate, but it's ultimately a lot more genuine fun. I just wish the songs were more varied.
I remember I got their demos "Invocation of Evil" and "Perpetual Degradation" by tape-trading back in the old days, and I immediately loved this band, his rude, raw, brutal sound, NY/NJ brutal death metal a la Suffocation/old Pyrexia. Later on, I got to listen to "Voracious Contempt", and I was a little disappointed. I thought it was going to be a memorable debut, but that production made the guitars sound cheesy and weak, lacking the power and aggression they had in their previous demos. Sure their sound is clearer than before, but this clearness steals them their powerful guitar sound. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean this album is weak or soft in any way, it's just that the final sound seems so polished and clear that the band loses the dark atmosphere they created in their previous demos.
Anyway, and despite of this awful guitar tone, the other instruments were recorded at a good balance. In fact, bass guitar is perfectly audible throughout the whole recording, even though it sounds a bit cold and somewhat jumping in some sections. Drums don't overwhelm the rest of the band, keep up the songs' pace and groove when needed. I think vocals are a bit louder than the rest, but that's not a serious menace since one can hear everything quite well.
Technically, they play well-executed NY brutal death metal with some hardcore influences. We can find a varied range of speed in this work, groovy slow heavy parts, mid-paced to fast sections, and even some furious fast blasting. Songwritting and riffing is quite good, although there're some simple (but not bad) riffs here and there, and solid song structures. 6 out of 10 tracks are from their previous releases, so here's some old-styled, yet good brutal death metal. It's in the 4 new tracks where the groovy hardcore influences are more recognizable, even becoming the band's landmark in their next releases.
I can't find anywhere that Suffocation-rip off style a lot of people complain about; both bands come from NY, and have been around for a long time now, so I think itś normal finding some similarities, as long as they played the same style of brutal death metal. And as to the band being considered by many to set the slamming death metal standards years before its world-wide boom, I personally don't see the point of that. Internal Bleeding is not really that slamming, and don't even as fast as those slamming bands out there.
"Voracious Contempt" was a good start for the band, since they have improved their style and skills all over the years. Maybe not their best album, but a fine debut from a fine bad.
I obtained this after seeing some tantalizing live and album clips on youtube, as is often the case. Overall I'd say it's... pretty good. Not by any means perfect but it is getting repeat listens.
It's NY death metal. Their sound bears a great resemblance to Suffocation. Shifting tempos crash into each other. Straight 'suffo blasts' abound (but are not the only blast used). I feel though that this album has a bit of its own character; it isn't Effigy of the Forgotten Part II by any means. Their riffing and compositional style is more streamlined and to the point. There is more emphasis on the varying textures of shifting beats over the same riff, and also those ever satisfying tempo shifts. Basically this album 'slams' more frequently than the at times thrashy or clinically technical Suffocation, whom this band is forever cursed to be compared to. They get a lot of credit for creating the basis of that awesome/shitty death metal sub-genre, "slam". I think the credit is deserved.
The performance/production: Decent and dissapointing, respectively. Drums sound a little dirty, but very natural. I really don't mind the drum production at all. I appreciate the lack of click-clacky trigger happy kicks. The guitarists are fairly tight here and play some bad ass riffs... but that tone is horrible! So scooped and buzzy. I'm in the process of tabbing the excellent second track 'Anointed in Servitude' and am often having to listen to the bass to make out what is going on. That implies that the bass is audible, which it is... which is nice. The vocals are pretty decent. He growls with a decent amount of ennunciation. At times he might sound a little cheesy, though. I really don't like to listen to this album through headphones, due largely to the awful guitar tone. It's great fun blasting this bad boy out of some speakers, though. The production doesn't strike me as being quite up to par for a death metal album released in 1995.
Once upon a time, Internal Bleeding was a crappy Suffocation clone instead of a uniquely crappy death metal/hardcore hybrid, and in this style, they turned out one album called 'Voracious Contempt'. The year of this album was 1995, which was the height of both death metal sucking and second-string underground death metal labels like Pavement being willing to put out just about anything in the wake of Roadrunner offering up their roster of DM groups as a sacrifice to the Gods Ov Capitalism. This is a very important thing to remember, because I can assure you that in NO OTHER YEAR would Internal Bleeding ever be signed by a decent label. At least, that's what I like to think. I love to pretend that there aren't labels who will release such mind-numbingly mediocre music onto the metal public. With this capacity for self-deception you'd think I would have liked the latest Obituary album!
Musically, 'Voracious Contempt' sounds almost exactly like Suffocation's 'Pierced From Within' (which was conveniently released five months prior to this album). Granted, it lacks the very convoluted riffing and song structures and abstract themes of that band, but every track on this album is pretty much a straight-up clone of 'Thrones Of Blood'. Remember that song's breakdown? Remember how it became the prototypical breakdown for just about every NYDM song that came out for, oh, a decade after it? Well, Internal Bleeding was clearly riding that wave hard, because every track has that same, sludgy "CHUN... CHUN... CHUN..." break. There are some blasting sections with mostly inaudible tremolo riffing, lots of midpaced, hardcore-inspired grooves, and lots of guttural, somewhat burping growls. There's also a constant procession of start/stop chug riffs over double bass that all sound pretty much exactly like each other.
One of the big things that prevents this from being a mediocre yet enjoyable piece of brutal death metal is the production. It's got that mid to low level studio production of a lot of mid-'90s DM groups, with decent sounding drumming, somewhat submerged vocals, and way overly distorted guitars recorded at too high a volume to preserve any modicum of tone. Same thing happened to Suffocation on, surprise surprise, 'Pierced From Within'; the distortion gets to the point where you can't actually, you know, hear the difference between notes, preventing coherent riffs from being composed. This alone pretty much damns the album from ever being in regular rotation from me. Mortician can get away with it. Internal Bleeding can't.
The only other real detail to speak of when it comes to this album is of influence. While listening to 'Voracious Contempt', you can actually pick out a lot of riffs that seem very ahead of their time; many of the groove riffs sound like modern slams that a band like Devourment would use, and many people do suggest that Internal Bleeding is one of the bands that really coined the concept of slam death, if not the name or a real grasp of what the style was. At the same time, though, I don't know how much of this is slam death and how much of it is just overblown Suffocation worship that sort of blindly stumbled into the 'slam' sound by accident. Internal Bleeding sounds like slam death in a lot of ways, but slam death doesn't really sound like Internal Bleeding; I'd argue that the biggest thing here is the fusion of hardcore and death metal (though more limited than on later albums).
Internal Bleeding got somewhat better from here, but this really wasn't a promising start. If you're trying to start a museum for random Suffoclones, you might as well pick it up, but I don't see a real reason why. You'll never remember any of the songs, riffs, or lyrics, and it's not even that pleasant when it's going on. It's easy to ignore, and doing so isn't really a bad idea.