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Neoandertals are one of the interesting and most innovative bands in the brutal death metal scene right now. That alone should tell you they are undoubtedly a band that completely polarizes people into the "Just fucking noise - 3%" category and the "Transcending brutal death metal - 97%" category. They're more than just a band with no guitarist. They're more than just a band with a chick on drums. They're more than just a band with an unique lyrical theme. They're even more than just crazy vegans living in some self-built shack in Estonia. The music is genuinely provoking through it's own being.
Whether it was there intent or not, Neoandertals abstract brutal death metal to such a distant place that it should only vaguely be looked at as death metal, and potentially more as avant-guarde art (oh how pretentious you cry! I'll move on...) If I was to give this album to an anthropologist and say some obscure African tribe made "Ebu Gogo" with bongo drums and large bambo sticks they would probably analyze it for months and eventually rave about new forms of communication and culture. But, you know, it's made by two white metalheads (degenerates in the popular sphere) so who in the real world gives a flying fuck.
Now apart from the polarizing factor of the band, a factor in giving this album such a high score comes from the fact that I've enjoyed it as much as I did "Neanderthals Were Master Butchers". It is basically an improvement on the same formula - tighter, just as sick, but with even less death metal influence this time around as the bass feels even less... bassy. Let's run over the music.
Semi-randomized battery? Check, the drums are fully competent and get extra marks for being, at times rather strange. Strange? This band seems to be out to define a new way to use the word. Percussive bass attack? Check. I use that phrase because the bass lines here walk the line between a melodic instrument and a percussive one. Harmonics and higher frequency bass lines/slaps intersperse the songs which break up lengthy, indecipherable, probably super technical (can you really tell?) bass sections. Bringing things back to the realm of "normal music" for a minute, one of Neoandertals strong points is that the band includes several stark moments of dynamics to break up the tracks before launching into more of the same. I can only liken it to listening to a 20 minute droning Sunn 0))) track which at some horrendous point midway through introduces a new riff and, in a riff depraved pyschosis, it shatters your fragile mind.
Rain's inhumanly low gurgling is the last piece of the absurd puzzle that makes up this band and can do nothing but bring up visions of a mentally childish, brute-like ape creature weilding only violence and burial mysticism to weave his odd tale of carnal destruction. There's little variation on the "urghh, urghh, eerughh, uutth, urrgh" theme and why should there be. Lyrically I've never been a fan of sexual gore focused lyrics and while it is done with intelligence here, it's probably the only element "Ebu Gogo" I'm not a fan of - especially considering how perfect the lyrics to "Master Butchers" fit the music. No big deal, a 3% chip off perfect.
"Ebu Gogo Gutting The Child" is brutal death metal that has left the realms of sanity and sailed into a bizzare world inhabited by an african tribe, Captain Beefheart and a jazz bassist possessed with the collective ghost of Devourment. It's not for the weak of heart. It's probably not even for the "brutal" of heart. Hell, it's probably (as a Machine Head fan would no doubt tell you) "just noise".
As terrifying as this world can be, only a few things really scare the living shit out of me and make me poop my pants. For one, I have arachnophobia horribly bad. The second I see any form of a spider, I either piss my pants or scream like a five year old girl while running for my life. The second is actually quite simple and needs no explanation at all, just watch this. The third? Well, the third thing that scares the shit out of me is rather nice, if you sit and think about it from different perspectives. One word: Estonia. It’s not that Estonia as a country scares me, it’s just that when I think about Bigfoot and mystical creatures, for some odd reason Estonia pops up in my head. The one thing that doesn’t scare me about Estonia is the brutal death/grind that comes from it. Neoandertals, a three piece from Otepää, is the perfect example of the scary orgasmic waves that Estonia gives off in the music world.
“Ebu Gogo Gutting The Child” is the sophomore release from Neoandertals and it wasn’t something that I was expecting much from honestly, considering that their debut, “Neanderthals Were Master Butchers”, was a very large miss with me back in 2007. Neoandertals consists of Rain Pohlak doing vocals and playing bass while Sandra Vungi pulverizes some drums. Yeah, a two piece with so much brutality that Afghanistan can’t even keep up with this horde of buffalo. Now, while “Ebu Gogo Gutting The Child” really isn’t for the weak minded souls that love to “experiment” in new genres of music, heed my warning when I tell you that you may hate this record from the second it starts spinning. With the bass/drum combination, Neoandertals really does bring in elements of classic death metal and grind but with only the bare essentials. They give you no extras, no real “show off” moments, it’s just pure brutal death/grind that might leave you paralyzed from the neck down. Speaking of bare essentials, if “Ebu Gogo Gutting The Child” has a theme song, it might be this one.
As a death metal fan, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m ungrateful and selfish when it comes to appreciating bands that don’t have four or five members. When I listen to death or grind, I want a mudslide of slaughter attacking my eardrums with unforgivable force. I want to be drowned by a sea of vibrations that could make a small baby explode if someone put him/her close enough to the speakers. “Ebu Gogo Gutting The Child” provides all of that for me with nine tracks that last nearly last thirty-three minutes in length. Also, this record makes me the same exact way that Thamud’s “Al Hajaj Ibn Yousif Al Thaqafey” made me feel when I first heard it a couple weeks back. “Ebu Gogo Gutting The Child” provides sheer terror, madness and organized chaos that makes sense at times and at other times, it doesn’t make any sense at all but sounds perfect.
I’m not going to leave this review praising anyone or telling you to worship Neoandertals but I will leave you with some lyrics from the track “Funeral Ejaculation”, the fourth track on the record.
"Spitting back chewed cum. Sometimes losing a life can be fun. Struggling for breath. No way out of her gloom. Vaginal fluids stuffed back into the mouth. Mouthful of death. Keen on torture. Greeted by her humid tomb. Forced to enjoy foreign semen. Seeing love she was never dreaming."
Originally written for: http://bloodorlove.domesticgenocide.com/