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Not a single inch short of astonishing - 95%

MutantClannfear, June 29th, 2013

Oh my god, someone finally did it. Someone finally made a modern slam/deathcore album that avoids every single negative stereotype about both genres, brings the best of both worlds to the table and ends up sounding absolutely amazing in the process. Dear god, this is good. Seriously, do you understand what this release means? Over the past two years I have sat through boring slam band after boring slam band trying to find something worthwhile. I have suffered through countless Russian bands' boring and awful slam routines, I have suffered through bands who thought nu-Pathology was the fucking be-all, end-all of brutal death metal and that the genre didn't need to do anything else for the rest of its lifespan. I have sat through Indonesian bands just... well, being Indonesian, I guess. The occasional band like Epicardiectomy or Raped by Pigs would occasionally show up to reinforce my faith in the genre, but it's hardly much reassurance when more and more bands keep shitting out stuff you don't like regardless of how often you tell them not to.

And then this motherfucker shows up.

It's funny, because the way I keep praising this, you'd think it's another Epicardiectomy or Cephalotripsy in terms of quality. It's not. Very close, but no cigar, not yet. It's just that Coprocephalic have managed to make what is arguably one of the best albums to ever exist in the brutal death metal spectrum, while playing in the ballfield of all the negative BDM stereotypes I absolutely despise. It's all here - the polished guitar tone, the deathcore influences (hell, those are even amplified here), the ridiculous slam/breakdowns - and none of it is watered down. Gluttonous Chunks is a masterpiece, not despite its adherence to all the stuff that makes the other bands terrible or mediocre, but because of it. Everything here is damn near perfectly executed, and if all the modern-day slam bands had this firm of a grasp on infectious songwriting I would be buying banners that say "SUPPORT DEATHCORE/SLAM INTERGENRE RELATIONSHIPS" and putting them on my front lawn.

But yes, the music. Okay, take The Cleansing by Suicide Silence, now add Wormed influences and the occasional outright slam mixed into the songwriting fray. That's about as close to comparisons as you can get with Gluttonous Chunks: saying it's "like Visceral Disgorge but way better" or whatever won't efficiently get my point across. What I'm basically trying to say is that Coprocephalic use the absolute best elements of every single piece they bring to the table. The heavier, chunkier parts of the music are almost a perfect mix of breakdowns and slams - if you took a breakdown out of its bouncy rhythm pattern and forced it to constantly push forward like a bulldozer, you'd get something like what Coprocephalic use for slams on this album. They are huge, which is partially due to the pristine, clear but still substantially weighty guitar tone and partially due to the fact that the band are obviously just really, really great at writing slams. They're always chunky as fuck, loaded with groove, and rely more on deathcore chords over straight eighth beats (sort of like the kind Suicide Silence use when they're not exactly in breakdown mode, but not using a tremolo riff either) than mere triplet patterns. Any rhythmic variation you find here is more likely to be syncopated and deathcore-influenced (that is to say, "dee, dee, dee, doo-DOO doo-DOO, dee dee") than based around conventional slam rhythms, and it works amazingly - at this point I'd honestly love to see bands do it more often, as long as they stick to Coprocephalic's adaptation of it. One more thing about the slams - they can be fast, even without any blast beats going on top of them. It's amazing.

About three-quarters of the album are stompy deathcore chugs and slams, which leaves the other fourth open to Coprocephalic's Wormed-influenced passages. These aren't quite as astounding as the more rhythm-based aspects of Gluttonous Chunks, but I'd be lying if I said they weren't brilliant as well. When the album gets more technical, serious shit starts going down - the guitars give up on their breakdown sessions for a moment and explode into a dazzling fury of deathcore riffs with precise bits of spacey, atmospheric chords and licks jammed into specific parts of the riffs. Meanwhile, the drums go into a mode of spastic, insane blasting paired off with quick, ridiculously speedy fills that help to break the chaos up into somewhat more digestible pieces. It'd be almost Enmity-esque if the band were dirtier; in its current state it's just an amazingly spacey, chaotic exercise in making riff passages that are simultaneously nearly impossible to follow, and full of captivating and interesting rhythms and melodies. Taking Wormed's latest album Exodromos into account, it'd be entirely fair to say that they are most certainly out-Wormeding the real Wormed at this point. It's that cool.

Apparently Coprocephalic use the vocalist from Gorepot, who I haven't listened to in a good long while but I seem to recall them being a good band. Listening to Gluttonous Chunks certainly reinforces that, at least in regards to the band's vocals - Coprocephalic show off a constant collage of various vocal textures that are somehow all from the exact same guy. Some are the Angel Ochoa-like purrs that have become somewhat of a staple for slam, except they're exceptionally executed; other vocal styles include croaks that sound something like "bork bork", vicious alien screams, and a clean, sufficiently wet pig squeal. There are rarely fewer than two voices gurgling at once, and the band's approach to vocals - which I like to think of as brutal death metal's answer to gang shouts - is simultaneously unique and, if you'll pardon me using such a relatively empty term, absolutely badass.

Saying this is "great" would be like saying that the universe is "pretty decent-sized". I haven't had this much fun with a BDM album since I heard Epicardiectomy's debut full-length for the first time. This is astonishing on pretty much any aspect of criticism you can realistically hurl at it as a brutal death metal album. My only complaint, ironically, is that while the band seem to integrate Wormed elements into their sound better than Wormed can nowadays, their cover of Wormed's "Pulses in Rhombus Forms" is pretty underwhelming if you're familiar with the original. They kind of screw up the feel of the really pretty, airy tremolo riff that shows up at around 0:52 in the song, the way they slow down a few riff transitions to make the chugging sections heavier kind of ruins the flow of the song (if anything, the riff transitions would be better sped up), and overall Coprocephalic feel too rhythm-based to capture the mood of a song by a band as fluid as Wormed generally are. But hey, it's not their song, right? And when their original compositions are so consistently solid, it hardly matters in the end. This is good on a scale that you probably can't even imagine until you're listening to it, and will probably end up in my top three releases for 2013 by the time the year draws to an end. Even the album art is worth the price of admission. Buy it now.

P.S. This just so happens to be my 200th review submitted to the website. I'm glad it coincidentally happened to be for an album definitely worthy of such a distinction.