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Graduating With an A+ in Efficient Sickfuckery - 93%

MutantClannfear, May 23rd, 2011

Along with deathcore and crunkcore, slam death metal is a prime contender for the award of "Most Consistently Shitty Music Subgenre". However, I like being proven wrong; Devourment were the ones who made it, and they did it right. Since I was exposed to 1.3.8., I have seen a few bands who have performed it decently, but nothing outstanding. Here, however, we see a band that may very well perform the genre better than the people who started it. I never thought I would ever give any band in the genre of brutal death metal anything higher than an 85%, but here it is, ladies and gentlemen: I give you Cesspool of Vermin, a band that has obviously taken their time to create an album that, while barely breaching thirty minutes in length, leaves its comrades in the dust in terms of entertaining, crushing riffs.

Perhaps part of the reason this release is so fun to listen to is because the mindset of the guitars isn't "tune to *insert guitar tuning to which even Sunn O))) haven't downtuned here* and chug for a few minutes". Instead, these feel like normally tuned modern death metal guitars, and although the music isn't as directly brutal as many bands in the genre, this band has prepared for that beforehand by creating riffs that are often a lot more complex than simple "dun, dun, dun-dun-dun" slams. The band always has something new to do: whether it's distorting the final notes of a measure, to actually using the top two strings of the guitar in riffs that almost emulate technical death metal, to creating addicting rhythmic combination, it simply never gets old. Oh, sure, the basic formula is still the same, but it's like this: if you were forced to eat nothing but ice cream for the rest of your life, but you had access to ten thousand different flavors that covered everything from vanilla to peppermint to pepperoni pizza, and no matter what it was, it tasted perfect (pepperoni pizza ice cream tastes like actual pizza), would you care? Point is, this band is still following the basic slam formula, but at the same time they've realized that it was a pretty dumb idea in the first place and added tons of new elements to keep the music from getting boring. Another feature this band has that most of its fellow slam players lack: an audible bass player. Due to the fact that the guitars aren't played in double-drop Z for Beastial Necrophilia, the band has made good use of their bass player and amplified his playing in the mix to make sure their music still has a lower tone. It fills a gap in the dissonance between the guitars and the vocals that would otherwise become unbearably awkward.

The drummer is another master of his instrument. He's constantly adding to the overwhelmingly headbangable rhythm with the use of well-placed rolls on the bass pedals, and in addition to that his fills consist of ridiculously fast snare rolls that still manage to sound like one fluid stroke instead of an awkwardly incoherent stop followed by a fill. Even in the slams, he manages to escape monotony by making felicitous use of everything he has on the kit, especially the hi-hat (which sounds amazing, how "ding"-ish it sounds). The only real complaint I have about the kit is the sound of the crash cymbal, which feels flat and asphyxiated compared to the thick, bass-rich sound of everything else on the kit.

The vocalist isn't anything super-spectacular for the genre, but he gets the job done. Imagine Muhammed from Necrophagist getting turned into a werepig, and you have our vocalist for this album. His vocals aren't the deepest you'll hear, but they're definitely up there in terms of catchiness. He's obviously not trying to be understood; the lyrics are almost entirely indecipherable. That's not the problem here, though: the problem is that most of what you'll hear of him on this album is "oh bee oh bee oh bee"; there's not as much vocal variation as there could possibly be. At the same time, you also get the ever-so-elusive screams, which sound even more bestial. They almost cease to be screams and border on ravenous snarls and howls, and they threaten to rip the listener apart with each time they're used (which, fortunately for you, the listener, is sparingly).

Standout tracks? Try "Puncturing Paraplegic Pussy" or "Sodomizing the Elderly", which are two of the more rhythmic compositions present on this album. Although all the tracks are great, these two stand out among the rest (at least, they do to me, possibly because they were the two songs that introduced me to this band).

This review does not adequately describe how imperative it is for you to hear this album. I'm sure if every slam album sounded like this, we'd have national holidays put aside to drilling our grandmas, mutilating and raping people in wheelchairs, and sucking the dicks of dead dogs. Buy the CD, worship it, have circle jerks to it with your friends, shove it up your ass, whatever - just possess this kickass album, and that will be one less wonder of the world you'll have left to experience.