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Bang 'em till your gums bleed! - 71%

hells_unicorn, December 2nd, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, Digital, Independent

Roughly two decades to the day since Devourment first delved into what would become the slam death craze, it seems that things have come full circle as the wheel of imitation has rolled its way back to the continental United States. Granted, a one-man project by an up and comer who likely cut his teeth on bands that further distilled what the New York death scene was doing back in the day from places as far away as Italy and Russia signaling some sort of significant happening in the world of all things brutality seems a bit counterintuitive, but a single listen of the debut EP of Minnesota-based slam outfit Coprophilic offers a bird's eye view into a project that has all of the trappings of an Eastern European offshoot of the original slam sound. Thus stands the eponymous offering of said one-man show, an EP that gets the job done in every department, but largely sticks to what has already been tested and approved by bands the world over.

Nevertheless, there is a unique charm to these songs compared to a number of recent brutal outings, and most of it is contained in the album's production value. The heavily compressed, almost robotic character that has come to typify a number of projects featuring either highly processed or even programmed drums is entirely absent here, as is the overly chaotic addiction to blasting and machine-gun death thrashing in favor of something a bit more groovy and measured. The corresponding guitar and bass tone has a notably muddy yet precise character to it, sounding more like an authentic emulation of the dank New York sound of Immolation rather than a tinny, treble-obsessed sound or its sludgy, overtly messy counterpoint. Even the vocal work has a sort of organic punch to it, shifting between low-pitched grunts and gurgles in a manner that exhibits a greater degree of personality than the usual independent slam affair.

In typical fashion the songs sort of run together a bit, though the more slow trudging character of "Bred To Slaughter" and "Man-Made Asphyxiation" have more of a consistent sense of groove and generally avoid jarring shifts in feel, while their converse "Emasculating Dismemberment" is more of a consistent blaster that keeps the chaos factor front and center throughout. The only real outlier from this game of balanced opposites is closing thirty-nine second ditty "Severed...", which has a bit more of a death thrashing character with some overt hardcore tendencies, even including a gang chorus alongside the obligatory barks and groans. Then again, this foray into punk territory is oddly fitting as the whole album exudes a sense of bare bones simplicity with a working class zeal, one that proves to be highly effective in standing out from the pack despite largely covering existing territory.

Though it is nice to see more and more nations the world over getting into the metal scene and trying their hand at paying tribute to the greats, there is definitely something to be said for a new generation of home grown brutal fanatics taking over the reigns for their elder fellow statesmen. Chalk it up to a latent sense of patriotism on the part of yours truly, but the way this strikes his ears is just ever so slightly more pleasing than the typical slam imitator from either Russia, East Asia or elsewhere in this planet Earth. It's a rustic affair to be sure, but it's also as American as apple pie laced with entrails, for what it's worth. Just be sure to grab a tooth pic after dessert so you don't end up looking like this EP's cover art the next time you visit the dentist.