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Twitch of the Death...Nah - 30%

autothrall, May 7th, 2021
Written based on this version: 2004, CD, Murder the World

I'd like to point out that giallos and other niches within the medium of cult horror films are known for possessing unique, chilling and quirky scores that really tend to stick with the viewer or listener and help them identify nostalgia for that period and style. As well-intentioned as many extreme metal bands are, and there's no questioning their great taste in the underground or the extremes of cinema, I feel that a lot of the basics of a style like grind or goregrind simply do a disservice to such themes since they come across as puerile and spastic bursts of generic riffs that are played fast simply because they can be. Sure, both of these things have 'extremity' in common, but the one doesn't really reproduce the palpitating dread and shock of the other, no matter how many samples you add, or how much your lyrics stick to the script.

The Blue Holocaust full-length debut Twitch of the Death Nerve suffers heavily from this. Basically there is or isn't some sample of distress from a giallo/slasher film, and then a subsequent eruption into about 30-60 additional seconds of insanely noisy chugging, hoarse distorted snarling and growling, and whirring beats that have no musical value whatsoever. And then it happens over, and over again, across 32 tracks in 37 minutes. Sore Throat or Scum without the humor or envelope-pushing of their day. Now I understand that this is a one-man effort, so I'm a fraction more forgiving than if it was a full band equally devoid of any real ideas, but it still sounds pretty awful, even in terms of just seeking a purely caustic and visceral experience. There is not a single riff of any distinction anywhere to be had, and I'm simply not one that can ironically look past that fact and heap empty praises on the material when it has nothing otherwise to compensate. One could very easily write a few hundred tracks like this by plugging in and pressing 'record', offering up some basic programming and just hacking out anything that automatically filters out to your fingers on the guitar strings. I've seen it lauded as 'extreme' or 'sickening', but it's not at all beyond the cover pastiche and the musician's taste in film.

There are single guitar passages off Scream Bloody Gore from 17 years earlier that are more evil and extreme than anything Twitch of the Death Nerve has to offer. Mortician occupies the same style, but at least actually sounds heavy and oppressive. This is only about as menacing as obnoxious radio static. Even the song titles are generally just taken directly from the films to which this album pays homage. "Deep Red", "Black Belly of the Tarantula", "All the Colors of the Dark", "Four Velvet Flies", "A Lizard in a Woman's Skin"...even the title track. I've seen them all, and they all possess a haunting vibe that none of this music does. I will give a little credit that the lyrics themselves, while pretty standard for the brutal death or goregrind niches, are more elaborate than the music, so I think even they get a disservice here. I kind of dig the logo, and that collage of murdered women on the cover gave me the impression this might actually sound evil, but it doesn''s dull distorted noise at high velocity, spastic paeans to themes it doesn't ever earn. That being said, there's a second album which was put out much more recently (2018) called Flesh for the Cannibal God. It's not a far cry from this one in terms of style and substance, but it's considerably more effective and utterly leaves this material in the gutter.


Total gore - 95%

Noktorn, January 30th, 2009

This is a great, extreme album with some cult love in the goregrind scene but not much appreciation anywhere else, but I don't think the man behind Blue Holocaust was ever looking for anything more. It's certainly goregrind made for goregrinders, with no concessions made to those who would feel gauche buying a copy of 'Carnivorous Erection'. The songs are all quite similar to each other and everything about it is completely overblown, and that's where a great deal of its charm comes from- it makes absolutely no effort to be accessible or appreciable by anyone but those who would love it based on the fantastic artwork alone.

Every sound on this album seems completely explosive; there's no regard for mixing at all, everything's just put at 1000 decibels and played. Vocals are insanely distorted and pitch-shifted, guitar is cheaply but hugely distorted, even the drum machine is played so loudly that it distorts. When the blasting starts, there's absolutely no musicality, just a menagerie of sounds running over and under and into each other wit no regard for songwriting. Ironically, the songwriting is surprisingly developed and careful; the riffs are articulate and somewhat melodic and the drums are programmed with clever fills and rhythms, but many of these subtleties are lost in the aesthetic's natural chaos. But does it matter? Not really; it's designed to just be an insane explosion and any effort that's actually put into it is really extra.

A great deal of attention has been given on the part of the creator to the project's aesthetic. The hardline giallo theme is replicated in each and every dimension of this release, from the stunningly detailed artwork to the song titles to the awkward yet delicate lyrics. Everything apart from the music would make you expect something much more... refined, maybe? But the secret is that this IS extremely refined goregrind. Samples are infrequent, and when employed are placed at very specific points, such as the delicate soundtrack clip at the end of 'All The Colors Of The Dark'. That's a word I'm using a lot in this review: 'delicate'; it might seem inappropriate to describe something as fundamentally indelicate as goregrind in such a way, but that's exactly what this release is. 'Twitch Of The Death Nerve' is clearly a labor of love by a slightly obsessed person, and the result shows, with its single-minded intensity and clarity of vision.

All the songs are essentially the same: a grinding, oldschool riff begins before the blasting drum machine kicks in, and everything goes crazy for a little while until the song either ends or kicks into a slightly more lucid, perhaps Repulsion influenced section. A bit of Catasexual Urge Motivation can be detected in the guitar department, where some of the riffs seem to have that sinuous quality that the Japanese band perfected, but the majority of the melodies on this are slight variations on the works of numerous bands past. It makes sense that the content is not entirely original on this CD; it's less an individual work as a dual tribute to its two greatest influences: giallo horror and goregrind.

This is certainly something that someone who dislikes goregrind would hate, and probably can't even be recommended to the genre's casual fans; it borders on too much even for itself, and the thirty plus tracks certainly wear on one after a while. But for the true goregrind freaks who want to peer into the mind of a man obsessed with horror and its music, there's little better.

Blue Holocaust - Twitch of the Death Nerve - 75%

Gortician, July 27th, 2008

Having not heard anything about this project prior to picking up this CD, I was not really sure what I was in for. Something that struck my immediate attention was that conceptually Blue Holocaust and "Twitch of the Death Nerve" revolves around Italian Horror cinema, most notably the Giallo subgenre - which personally I find very appealing. Blue Holocaust is the project of one man, Pierre De Palmas, better known as editor of the infamous Braindead webzine, and this is his creation of drum machine driven, misogynist, horror worshipping Goregrind.

Aesthetically this is standout release. The front cover and inlay artwork is a macabre montage of scenes from famous Giallo films - images of women having their throats cut, being stabbed, eviscerated, and mutilated in a variety of ways. I should add that Pierre is also a recognised gore artist, and the grotesque art that adorns this disc is his very own.

Production wise "Twitch of the Death Nerve" is very coarse, abrasive and somewhat lo-fi, but I'd hardly consider that a detrimental factor, as afterall Goregrind is not supposed to sound pretty, right? Sludgy. distorted and murky - yet the details are all still quite audible. Pierre's songwriting skills are very competent, he manages to create some sloppy, yet quite catchy riffs without everything turning into a speed driven mess, which is where alot of others in this subgenre fail. The vocal department is a non-stop onslaught of barks and gurgles, harmonized beyond being decipherable on any level, not dissimilar to those heard on any early Last Days Of Humanity release. Not surprisingly, there's a healthy amount of horror movie samples to be heard between, and occasionally during songs. Luckily they aren't too lengthy and take away from the music (read; Mortician).

It's quite easy to determine that this is one of those "love it or hate it" type projects, but in the sea of pathological or porn obsessed Goregrind I found Blue Holocaust to be somewhat refreshing in terms of concept, and very disturbing, bizzarre and unique musically, possibly making this one of the Goregrind subgenre's better offerings in the past decade.

Originally written for -

Blue Holocaust - Twitch of the Death Nerve - 70%

Phuling, April 23rd, 2008

This is definitely not a make-out album, I can tell ya that for sure. 32 tracks of savage drummachine goregrind, artwork and lyrics inspired by Italian slasher/horror flicks. And this created by the man behind the legendary Braindead webzine - Sounds promising, doesn't it? Well, this might be a tad too mechanical for my taste, sounds too much of machines.

The promo sheet to this album says Blue Holocaust's heavily inspired by Exulceration, Regurgitate, Dead Infection, Last Days of Humanity etc. To be honest I can't really distinguish any inspirations here, everything melts together too much - The drums, strings and the vocals (vocals, which take up too much room in the production). To me, this is a lot like other digitalized goregrind bands - Savage Man Savage Beast, SpermSwamp, SMES etc.

All the lyrics are printed, however not so you'll be able to sing along. No, you can't distinguish a word even though you have the lyrics right in front of you. And to be honest alot of the songs sounds quite alike as soon as the grinding sets in. Some songs here have tremendously cool parts, like the great riffing to the intro of the title track, Twitch of the Death Nerve (which is such a fucking cool title). And there's a really cool drum part at the end of Don't Torture Donald Duck. So there are some definite goldies here.

Full colour artwork done by the band man himself, and the lyrics are also written by hand, so it's quite cool. Anyway, as I said... Not really my kind of goregrind, maybe, but it's a great record for blowing your brains out!

Originally written for