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The mid-point. At this stage, Lymphatic Phlegm have fine-tuned their rough, basement style into something (nearly) completely new, and though this is only their first full-length, it probably is (to date) their best material yet to mature listeners.
The guitar reverb is here, mixing with a black metal tone that is typically un-goregrind, so although it is nowhere near as low and distorted as "Reek of Putrefaction" worship releases it still retains that muggy, dirty atmosphere required of the genre. The production is close to the best the band could get under their underground circumstances, every instrument is clear and accessible. The drumming as usual is crammed full of blastbeats and fills which power their way through the minute songs. Vocals remain hugely shifted throughout, purring out those same medical textbook-styled layout lyrics.
Songwriting-wise, the repetition isn't as bad on some later splits, though after a while it becomes impossible to tell which track you're listening to unless you've been ticking them off a list of some kind. They range from short and sweet to slightly-less-short and ugly. With thirty-one songs included (with various zombie and splatter samples leading into many of them), you're sure to be getting your money's worth. The main gripe with the tracklist is the abrupt ending; perhaps an outro of some kind is called for?
Artwork and lyrics. Well, if you want incomprehension with a side helping of gore (you sick fuck), it's here. There's an entire essay in the booklet outlining various forensics regarding cadaveric identification, if you have the balls to read it. The front cover is interesting, is that the back or the front of his/her head, OH WAIT, we don't know. It could be either. Whatever's meant to be there is surely missing. Don't laugh; you'll most likely end up like that lack-of-face when "Pathogenesis Infest Phlegmsepsia" is done with you.
The surprising white colour scheme of the packaging does nothing to prepare you for the dingy, filthy sound of the CD (expecting cleanliness? Wrong.). The songs cover various medical atrocities in appropriate jargon, so get out your dictionary.
Although "Pathogenesis..." could have been released as two individual splits with no problems (points off for repetition), it is definitely one of their more professional releases that any new fan must check out before writing them off (there are barely any signs of actual Carcass worship here, and if you aren't a fan of the mixing, "Show-Off Cadavers" is minuscule better). Old fans know what to expect, but only to a point. It's all new, and it's iconic Lymphatic Phlegm at work.
Bring a safety-mask.
This is where most peoples' acquaintance with Lymphatic Phlegm's work will likely begin; the band's debut full-length is clearly reminiscent but also a clearly evolved form of the material heard on previous split CDs and underground releases. 'Pathogenesis Infest Phlegmsepsia' tends to emphasize the elements which make the band so unique: the abstract melodic elements owing heavily to heavy and progressive thrash metal, the unusually complex drum programming, and the bizarre, pathological atmosphere. It's certainly something a far cry from typical goregrind (though no more likely to appeal to Gothenburg fans), and is easily Lymphatic Phlegm's most professional release so far (though for best I think the title still belongs to their demented first demo tape). It's most certainly a mandatory release for goregrind fans and certainly stands as an unusual and excellent release in the cluttered and typically uninteresting genre.
Lymphatic Phlegm's style of goregrind was originally rooted in noisy Carcass worship like many Brazilian goregrind artists, but quickly diverged into stranger and stranger directions, and at this point in Lymphatic Phlegm's career, this is certainly the strangest yet. 'Pathogenesis Infest Phlegmsepsia' delves headlong into the band's strange style of goregrind without even the slightest glance back. Lymphatic Phlegm's style is defined by several elements, each of which are exploited to their fullest on this release. The riffing, while always unusual, heavily influenced by older styles of metal as well as traditional goregrind, is even more hypermelodic and bizarre than usual, with these pathological microsongs packed to the brim with guitarwork that seems to go every direction but forward. There are almost no riffs which go in a conventional goregrind direction, instead preferring to erupt into flurries of melodic yet vaguely sickening notes which don't tend to enjoy moving in typical tremolo patterns. Heavy influences from '70s and '80s styles of metal are present, with somewhat more traditional goregrind riffs suddenly switching in strange retro directions but still maintaining melodic coherency.
The drum programming is as flawlessly executed as ever, obviously dominated by blasts but with excellent sample selection and appropriately timed fills and rhythmic switches adding character to the percussive line of the music. Distorted vocals just sort of interject themselves randomly amidst the riffs; the lyrics, which I believe are taken straight from medical textbooks, don't lend themselves to any sort of rhythm in particular, so vocalist Andre just sort of places them wherever they would be least comfortable and more abrasive with the rest of the music. The actual tone of the vocals is functional thought not acceptable, a pitch-shifted and heavily reverbed roar in the Blue Holocaust style which tends to annihilate the rest of the music when it appears with searing digital distortion.
It's the production, though, which really makes this, as it does all Lymphatic Phlegm material. Everything (and I do mean everything) is soaked with a heavily echoing but weirdly claustrophobic reverb which infuses the music with a nightmarish pathological quality, like you're laying on a bloodsoaked operating table as some extremely questionable procedure is performed on you. The strange, digital guitar tone and the loud, abrasive vocals give a distinctly home-recorded but no less demented quality to the whole production, with even the least professional elements contributing to the very strange and perplexing quality of the album. Lymphatic Phlegm is characteristically strange, but 'Pathogenesis Infest Phlegmsepsia' displays the band really deliberately mastering their peculiar style, and the results are stellar.
Goregrind tends to be a genre devoid of atmosphere unless it's arrived an unintentionally, and Lymphatic Phlegm is remarkable simply because all their releases seem to seek and achieve an atmosphere not replicated anywhere else in the scene. 'Pathogenesis Infest Phlegmsepsia' is an essential release for the goregrind fan interested in the stranger segments of the genre far away from 'Symphonies Of Sickness'. Grab this one if you can and don't mind the icky cover art.
Nice CD we have here. After a short intro track, the music kicks in with a great first song: "Proliferative Reaction Of The Reticulo-endothelial System's Elements". Nice title assholes! There's a bunch more just like it too, of course. These bastards haven't given up on the patho angle and I guess you've got to respect that. Plus the music kicks fucking ass. We've got really fast drum machine programming with very cool (frequently) unique and fairly catchy guitar riffs and bowel-releasing pitch shifted vocals. For the most part the songs are pretty short and to the point, not letting the whole thing turn into a mishmash of different riffs per song, which works well for them. The whole thing is kind of extreme and melodic at the same time, due to their unusual guitar riffs, which aren't (usually) done in the typical Goregrind style. And as a bonus these guys have picked up a pretty decent production since their old days as well, with a very unique, almost echoing guitar sound being the order of the day. I wouldn't say the production was "crystal clear" or anything, but this sounds good to me. A great, crushing release that any gore fan should do whatever he had to to get. 31 kick ass tracks.
This album owns most goregrind through and through and through and through until other bands are just like "I give up, these guys whoop our asses". I had previously heard only one more record by the band, and that was their split with Neuro-Visceral, which was good but not really outstanding. This album completely sets itself apart from other goregrind in two departments. Riffs and drums. More inexperienced listeneres will beckon "What riffs?" but holy fuck there are some solid guitars on this album. They range from absolutely brutal skullfucking slam riffs to almost melodic passages like in track 22. While repetitive, this is certainly an impressive step in both maturity and songwriting for this band, who have clearly evolved from their split with N-VE back in the day. The drums are perfectly programmed, and sound human (as in, not mechanical...I wasn't saying they're not inhumanly fast at times), and they fit the music perfectly. Some of the fills these guys created are astounding, and even technical (dare I say it). The vocals are absolutely sickening, low, pitch-shifted, and gutfuckingly brutal. This is a MUST for goregrind fans, and might even get new fans in the genre with its heavily riff based structure. +2 points or so for song titles, too.