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Yearning for the Grotesque - 60%

dyingseraph84, May 25th, 2010

This is my first exposure to the Spanish death metal outfit Avulsed, and unfortunately it is not a good first impression. Let me start off by saying that I am a fan of Dave Rotten’s other projects (Christ Denied and Putrevore), but this left me bored and uninterested.

The songwriting on this album is very bland and really doesn’t get my head nodding at all. These songs are filled with re worked Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel riffs that you’ve heard a million times before. The production is beefy and very heavy, no lo-fi under produced gore production here. The drums sound especially great, they have a nice punch to them. Unfortunately the drumming is predictable and sterile.

I’m not going to sit here and bash this album there are a couple of good things to be said for it. Dave Rotten’s voice sounds disgusting, he sounds like he is underwater most of the time! The guitar solos are well played and very melodic harboring a Swedish death metal sound to them. Some of the riffs are not bad, its just for every good riff there is 2 or 3 bad to mediocre riffs that follow, take Wormeaten for instance.

I really don’t think this album deserves all this praise, to me it sounds like any bargain bin standard death metal act out there. There is a lot better death metal out there than this. From lame artwork to even lamer song titles to songs that remain uninspired, Avulsed struck out with this one in my opinion.

Good, Despite Flaws - 76%

Osmium, June 6th, 2005

The brutality of this album is unquestionable: with its thunderous (fairly high up in the mix), unrelenting drumming (despite and odd absence of blast beats), utterly crushing rhythmic guitar riffs, and inhumanly low vocals, it annihilates much of the competition, except perhaps [i]Dechristianize[/i], or the latest Decapitated release (though both bands rely heavily on blastbeats). In fact, it has several of the same flaws as the former, which I will elaborate on later.

However, this album also manages to be ridiculously catchy. While melodic death metal bands from Sweden fail to create anything worthwhile in their attempts to fuse the death metal aesthetic with 80s structures and riffs, Avulsed utilize some mutated NWOBHM riffs, crossed with intermittent thrash and death metal riffs at regular junctions, to great effect.

This album has three outstanding qualities about it: some of the guitarwork is simply mindblowing - complex as hell, yet at the same time directed, focused, and powerful. The solos also impressed the hell out of me, though I've always been a sucker for good solos. The vocals are also outstanding, although they get a bit tedious - the vocalist has a great voice (and uses it to great affect on "Devourer of the Dead" and "Daddy Stew," especially juxtaposed with the guitars during the chorus), but for the most part fails to truly impress, due to lazy song-writing. The last song on the album, "Decrepit Sigh," is nothing short of amazing - a complete reversal of the rest of the album. I only wish Avulsed had continued this in this style. It is romantic, atmospheric, with the vocals mixed lower than on the rest of the album, and the clean (yet heavy) guitar etching beautiful melodies unto a gloomy canvas of keyboards.

This is a good album despite the primary flaws: generic, formulaic song structures. I am not a big fan of the verse-chorus song structure, and I especially dislike it in death metal. This was my problem on [i]Dechristianize[/i], and it's my problem here. The chorus in "Wormeaten" is the song title repeated four times, and there are three choruses - this, needless to say, becomes incredibly tedious. Likewise, their style of repeating a riff 4 times, changing it a bit, playing it 4 times, etc. really contrasts with some of the more technically proficient guitar work, and simply disappoints. The incredibly clean production also bothers me slightly, as well as the fact that the drummer fails to vary his rhythms (especially for this style of music).

Most of the album is mid-fast paced, except "Decrepit Sigh," which is cold and doomy, and a cute little eastern intro/outro to "Pale Red Blood." In general, the lyrics are not very serious, but a combination of macabre and poor English (though I'm overemphasizing this just by mentioning it).

Pick it up if you want something brutal and catchy, but without much emphasis on art or ideology.

Outstanding in every way. - 99%

SculptedCold, August 14th, 2004

Definately one of the best death metal releases in 2002, certainly my favourite of that year, and from a hugely under-exposed band.

One thing Avulsed certainly do not do is break any important new ground in death metal. The compositions, although all interesting, are quite plain. The theme, well....as much can be guessed from the rather disturbing, well-done, if predictable cover art. To give the mental Spaniards a chance though, they pull-off the gore, violence and perversion approach with a refreshing and almost satirical tongue-in-cheek humour that is both deliberately conscious and comparatively original. Foetivorous Marriage for example tells the tale of a couple who conceive specifically to savour the delicacy of a foetus every six months, creatively cliche, isn't it?

What Avulsed have done spectacularly well though is to pull-off a convincingly brutal death metal album chock-full of heavy, headbangable riffing and sick, intense drumming, while at the same time writing songs that are effortlessly catchy. This is not in any way a melodic death metal album, but it is so much more than a death metal album with melody at the same time. Almost all of it is memorable; if the leads aren't leaving elegant melodies humming in the mind, the relentless rhythms will be bobbing the head at the slightest recollection. To top-off the wonderful music on offer, Avulsed are fronted by one of the most refreshing and talented vocalists in underground death metal. Dave Rotten of course holds his own on the beastial, guttural front, but his mark of distinction lies in his semi-clean rasps and higher piercing vocals. Plenty of metal vocalists use this dichotomy obviously, but one thing that the majority cannot do when they introduce the higher vocals is make my spine tingle in the first slight signs of fear! The first time I listened to Yearning for the Grotesque, and therein the sinister and grinding Devourer of the Dead, I literally freaked and glanced around me when totally out of the blue, Rotten rasped the lines of the title. As well as sounding genuinely evil, he also has a penchant for catchiness in his delivery. Devourer of the Dead, Daddy Stew, I Feel Good...Eating Human Flesh and Morbid Chef are the most notable tracks featuring Rotten's excellent vocals.

Possibly the most promising thing about Avulsed however is the fact that they're just getting better and better with each album. While not quite as directly heavy as it's predecessors, Yearning for the Grotesque is by no means a compromise for commerciality, and it takes the first competent experimentations with catchy riffing and melody on Stabwound Orgasm and completely overhauls them; stripping away the keyboards (listen to the excellent if a little overdone melody on Homeless Necrophile) and developing songs around the strength of the riffs' melodies or rhythms instead of more haphazardly inserting them into the middle of otherwise more blasting material.

All in all, a superb brutal death metal release that is refreshingly characterful in all aspects, even the cliched ones.

Good catchy death metal - 87%

Life_Sucks, December 1st, 2003

I happened to stumble across this band on mp3.com. Talk about underrated. It is catchy and melodic, though not in the atmospheric sense. The album beings suddenly with the blasting death metal assault of the opening track Wormeaten - there is no intro noises to lead up to the crushing wall of sound like there so often is with death metal albums. The blasting subsides and gives way to more groove oriented melodic riffing, which defines their sound. The next track, Devourer Of The Dead is a catchy song that has an old school dm vibe to it. The album continues on in solidly, with no weak points. Perhaps the highlight of the album is I Feel Good... Eating Human Flesh, which features a very catchy melodic single note lead guitar melody over crushing rhythm guitar. The only possible way that this album may lack is in the lyrics. The lyrics are essentially dumb gore lyrics, with some occasional humor thrown in. But this is not at all uncommon with death metal bands. Overall, Avulsed sound somewhat like old school death metal, with very few blast beat passages and many thrashy riffs. The lead guitar often plays medlodies over the rhythm guitar riffs, making the music even more interesting and original. The music is catchy, yet brutal at all time, which is a great combination in my opinion. If you like brutal death metal with groove and melody, you will most likely dig this CD.