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The 25th Anniversary record any band would want to release - 100%

psiguen, May 9th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2016, CD, Xtreem Music (Digipak, Slipcase, 25 anniversary edition)

Spanish Legends Avulsed are still there 25 years after their first release, their demo "Embalmed in Blood" (I'm writting this review in 2021, so it already makes them 30 years active). One of the few Spanish bands still active since early 90's, along with Fermento, and one of the longest life death metal bands worlwide. This one is a 2CD 'Greatests Hits' compilation, and I expected the original tracks but I got pleasantly surprised by the fact that every track has been re-recorded for the occasion with a superb production and sound. I think it's a great idea, since they include tracks ranging from their early demos ("Addicted to Carrion"), through their all-time classic "Carnivoracity" (I have always loved this one, as it was the first I ever heard), to a selection of songs from all their albums for a total of 18 tracks, also featuring a different guest vocalist on each track, some as legendary as Sven de Calluwé from Aborted, Mike ex-Sinister, John McEntee from Incantation, Will Rahmer from Mortician, Chris Reifert from Autopsy or Paul Zavaleta from Deteriorot. Apart from this selection with guest vocalists and a brand new sound on CD#1, the original version of the same songs are included on CD#2, with their original rancid sound but in a chronological order.

I have always found Avulsed to be a pretty rancid band with a pretty rancid and characteristical sound (I have already said this on my review for "Eminence in Putrescence"), and it's kind of refreshing they re-recorded all tracks with this killer and heavy sound; the first time I listened to this, even knowing they were Avulsed I thought it was another different band rather than them. The sound here is quite brutal and powerful, almost a crystal-clear production where every instrument has its presence and sounds balanced, but maybe bass guitar is a bit hidden under the rest at times, like in tons of other death metal releases. I would have personally risen bass guitar volume on the final mix a little bit (by the way, I would rise bass guitar volume on almost every death metal record...), but it's not a bit flaw since some hints of bass are audible here and there, and the almost mandatory bass solo sections can be found here too (on "Carnivoracity" or "Powdered Flesh"). It sounds heavily distorted and it's pick-played, which gives bass guitar an extra power.

Guitars sound really thick, playing some epic and catchy riffs and leads. Besides, there are some interesting guitar solos, which prove Avulsed guitar players are pretty skilled though, having improved a lot in all these years. I find some old-school Swedish influences on some riffs/leads ("Breaking Hymens", "Burnt but not Carbonized", "Dead Flesh Awakened" or "Daddy Stew"), I also find some middle East influences on some riffs ("Sweet Lobotomy"), and their characteristical rancid sound stills suppurates on their oldest tracks, even though they are re-recorded ("Addicted to Carrion" and "Carnivoracity"). There are some pinch harmonics scattered here and there, giving emphasis where it's needed which doesn't end up being cloying, just unlike the major part of the style nowadays (where it seems it's a must to play these harmonics everywhere).

Long passed are those Furni's times behind drum kit, and his pretty hardcore-punk oriented style of playing. On this record, Arjan van der Wijst shows he is much more technical a drummer than any of his predecessors. It is true that Avulsed has never been the fastest band, even though they get quite fast at times, but Arjan has a wide repertoire of technical skills and can play as fast as needed. He plays some nice double bass drum, very interesting fills and rolls, and a varied use of crashes and ride.

To be honest, Dave Rotten is not, and never was, one of my favourite death metal vocalists, I have always found him a bit weak and monotonous, even choppy and shabby on their first releases (anyway and despite of this, Avulsed have always been one of my fave death metal acts). But in this record he sounds more powerful than ever and his growls are quite varied and deeper, even trying some pig squealing here and there (well, now I'm not sure if he's himself trying these pig squealings or any of the guest vocalists), but still remainig pretty understandable. The addition of the guest vocals is a great idea, but there are some of these vocalists I don't really like (for instance, Tomas Lindgren from At the Gates and his high pitched screams seem totally out of place here), but it is very cool hearing Svencho's signature voice (or for that matter, powerful and deep Will Rahmer or John McEntee) in an Avulsed track though.

There is also a 2CD+DVD version of this, "Night of the Living Deathgenerations", recorded live at Madrid (the 2CD version being the audio tracks of the gig and the DVD being the concert itself + some band interviews), but this is another release and I'm just reviewing "Deathgeneration"... Definitely, I think this is the 25th Anniversary record (almmost) any band would want to release, and a must for any death metal fan.