without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
10 years after their formation, France’s Savage Annihilation finally unleashes their full cannibalistic rage upon mankind with their debut full length album, Cannibalisme, hérésie et autres sauvageries. Themes of zombies, horror and cannibalism of late tend to be the focus of bands playing in the style of old school Swedish death metal like Feral and Morbus Chron, so it kinda leaves one to wonder what these Frenchmen can do, with 10 years of playing experience under their belts thus far.
Le commencement does little to give away the style of the band, with sound samples of TV news playing in the background laying down a rather chilling mood for the album, and sounds of a man struggling gives hint to the impending doom that is to come. And things start off rather brutally as the band begins their onslaught with Dépeuplez ce monde de vermines, with relentless blast beats and furious trem-picked riffs hit the listener, sounding like the bastard child of Morbid Angel, Suffocation and even a slight hint of Incantation with the dense and suffocating atmosphere. The deep growls of of vocalist Dave serves as yet another instrument to add to the crushing impact of the music of Savage Annihilation, though he pierces through the murky depths with higher pitched growls that are littered throughout the record. Apart from the guttural growls, his flair on the guitars are also evident, from the complex riffing patterns that are aplenty on the album to the leads that he execute with much ease.
Drummer Mike is also stellar, and rather than simply blasting his way through with constant blast beats, he often plays around with the drums, displaying his skills through the variety of styles that he incorporates in his drumming, and is one of the main attractions on the album as well. Bassist Pigoin provides that low, rumbling growl on the music of Savage Annihilation, ensuring that the listener isn’t able to breathe easy as the album progresses. Songwriting on the album is also rather well done, with songs that are rather complex, ensuring that things do not get too monotonous with the complex song structures and the equally technical and capable playing of the various instruments. The somewhat progressive aspects of the band are perhaps best shown on the track Dévoré par l’humanité, lasting in excess of 7 minutes yet seeing the band not letting up in intensity nor complexity.
The only gripe I truly have with the album are the clanky snares, reminding me of the abomination that is St. Anger. But other than that, the band’s 10 years of playing experience certainly shines through on Cannibalisme, hérésie et autres sauvageries, and is definitely a excellent and worthy debut release.
Another French act to join the expanding Kaotoxin Records roster (alongside Ad Patres), Savage Annihilation embark on an abusive, direct path of brutal death metal which draws equal parts influence from older Suffocation, Morbid Angel, Cryptopsy, Krisiun, Carcass and a rogues' gallery of other ghouls who made their mark in both the US and European scenes through the 90s. Despite the band's decade of previous existence, this is not your polished, refined modern technicality here, so expect a bit of clamor in the song arrangements, but if you fancy a lot of intense blasting, well written leads, tremolo picking and gruff, nihilistic guttural vocals, then Cannibalisme, hérésie et autres sauvageries has your face written all over its gut-stomping bootstraps.
There's nothing pretty or accessible about this album, and the most variety you'll hear is in the different song lengths, which range from about 4-7 minutes. I enjoyed the mixture of tinny blasted drums with the ominous, churning guitar tone which brought to mind Morbid Angel circa Covenant. They pepper a lot of squeals, low end deathgrind progressions, and other techniques into an apocalyptic climate of explosive viscera nearly as insane as the cover art. Guts are flying everywhere here, and the monotonous drawl of the growling seems to hover right on the edge of the guitar tone, almost inaudible in places (except for when the Deicide and Carcass-styled snarls erupt), mocking you like some murderous phantom while the guitars flay your skin off and dig out your intestines. There isn't much complexity in terms of the actual riffs being manifest, but the Frenchmen compensate with the sheer number of them that they vomit in your direction, and they often broil and blend into one another like a stew of human organs: you will constantly find yourself overwhelmed, and not a whit bored when listening through this.
I won't lie: there are times when this record feels like a steaming, writhing pile of entrails shoved onto a plate, and the seeming disorganization of the chugging and blasting alternations can create a ripping headache, but therein lies half the fun. Savage Annihilation don't act like their shit doesn't stink: they write repulsive, ugly barrages of death metal with no apologies. But this isn't entirely the child play of Neanderthals, for the lead guitars in cuts like the crazy closer "Ouvrez la tombe des assoiffés de sang" are both frenzied and meticulous in adding another dimension of horror to an already overcrowded cemetery. The song titles and lyrics are in French, which adds to the charm, but they're not complicated to translate. Ultimately, where the album might not deliver much on originality, it's quite long on blustering brutality, a smear of pathological entertainment, all goresoaked enough to sate any acolytes at the butcher block altar. Disgusting in all the right ways!