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Cock and Ball Torture > Sadochismo > Reviews
Cock and Ball Torture - Sadochismo

Groovy fun for the whole family (maybe not that last part) - 80%

driller64, February 7th, 2020

Music like the German trio Cock and Ball Torture makes has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. Although the vulgar song titles (even by extreme music standards), heavily processed pitch-shifted vocals, and simple guitar riffs and drums turn many people off to the pornogrind/bulldozing goregrind subgenre/microgenre of grindcore that this band is known for, for me it has always been a good genre to switch my brain off and have some good, mindless fun listening to without having to put too much thought into anything about it. So when I learned that Cock and Ball Torture had finally been accepted into the Metal Archives after being blacklisted for so long, the first thing I had to do was sit down and write a review on what is commonly considered by many in their small fanbase to be their magnum opus, Sadochismo.

Where do I begin? The vocals are the first thing most newcomers to this genre seem to notice, so I shall go over those first. They are heavily processed and pitch-shifted, as is standard fare in this genre. However, underneath all of the processing you can somewhat hear the different types of vocals being performed. For most of the album they will be simply gurgles and deep stomach-noise/toilet flush type croaks, probably done by performing normal death growl vocals into a mic plugged into a pitch shifter pedal. But occasionally the vocalist (I believe the drummer, a fellow named Sascha, does the vocals in-studio) will perform a higher pitched gurgle or a louder rumble, usually during the breakdown of the song. Overall, at least for me, they are pretty forgettable due to their lack of prominence in the mix and because of the fact that they remain pitch-shifted throughout the whole album, and the band didn’t think it would be a good idea to shut the pedal off and maybe do some more varied vocals. But they don’t take anything away from the album, and they fit pretty well with the guitar riffs.

Which brings me to the guitars and bass (I will include both in this section since the bass mostly follows the guitar throughout this album and isn’t very audible when there isn’t a bass “solo” section going on). Besides the drums, this is where the album shines in my point of view. The riffs remain very simple for the most part, mostly consisting of chromatic power chords and chugs that never go past the 5th or 6th fret. However, those few chords and notes are used to construct very groovy and oftentimes crushing riffs that I challenge you not to at least bang your head to. Although the sterile production somewhat takes away from the heaviness of the guitar, the drums usually add enough power and groove to keep you interested in what is going on. The bass, as mentioned before, mostly just follows the guitar and isn’t really audible while it is playing. It is also distorted, which gives me the idea that it is just there to add extra distortion to the guitar track, since the guitar is tuned quite low and has a very bassy tone. The band probably could’ve gotten away with just having a guitarist honestly, as seems to be common with these types of bands anyway.

The drums, while being another positive point of the record, aren’t very “metal” or grindcore-like, in the sense that they play very normal-sounding beats. Occasionally they will play a mid-tempo blast beat, during which the guitar will rapidly play an unmuted chromatic fourth riff, but that’s about it in the way of “metal” type drum beats that drummer will play. Most of the time the drummer will be heard playing the “polka” beat that is common to this genre, or during the breakdown sections, beats that sound very similar to a slow D-beat. This isn’t to say the drummer doesn’t have talent, however. He holds the songs together quite well, adding in fills or cymbals where need be, and adding variation where necessary. The drums overall do an above average job for the type of music they are playing, which isn’t exactly known for being the most creative or inventive genre in the world.

Overall, while not being very creative or technical, this record accomplishes what it wishes to do, which is to be a mosh-friendly record that one can easily headbang and even dance to at times. I also think it might be good introduction to this genre to any newcomers, with it being a great example of its type and its lack of long porn/movie samples (with the exception of track 5). The production is very dry and sterile, somewhat low quality, but I find that it actually fits in with the sadomasochistic theme of the album. I would suggest giving this a listen if you want to take a dive into the bizarre and groovy world of the pornogrind/bulldozing goregrind microgenre, and don’t mind sacrificing a couple brain cells in order to do it.