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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.