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Genuinely progressive death metal - 82%

Noktorn, September 2nd, 2008

The go-to comparison for this band is definitely Malignancy, but leaving it at that would really be selling them short of their more unique aspects. It is a pretty obvious comparison though; both bands play high-speed, very technical, grind-influenced death metal with an infatuation for pinch harmonics (Corpulate less so). Beyond that, the texture of the music is rather different; while Malignancy is content to spazz out at 300 BPM pretty much constantly, Corpulate has a bit more variation in tempo, including some sludgy sections which could conceivably labeled slams. It's a pretty interesting combination that makes for a rather jarring listening experience, but it's worthwhile.

This almost resembles one of those sludge/grind fusions you see occasionally. Much of the violence comes from the sudden, lurching tempo changes. Ultra-slow chug sections suddenly burst into a flurry of tremolo picked notes before dropping back down or vice versa. It doesn't have the 'spazz' quality of a band like Cephalic Carnage; it's somewhat more measured and predictable, but that doesn't do much to make the sudden accelerations any less painful. The band really has two settings: slow and extremely fast. There's little in the way of midpaced groove or really anything that you can bang your head to in an ordinary way. The tracks are short and violent, with constantly changing, dancing tremolo riffs exploding constantly from your speakers while a jittery, cocaine-fueled drum performance skitters every which way under them.

The production is rather strange; guitars dominate the soundstream while drums sort of lurk underneath them, but the tone of both voices are rather strange, with the guitars being rather wide and flat and the drums remarkably tribal due to a lack of sharpness, like they were tuned appropriately and then down a couple turns. The vocals are VERY buried, so much so that you can barely hear them; what you can hear is an extremely low, gurgling growl, almost Lovecraftian in nature. It's almost cool how it lurks in the background without making itself noticed, giving the music a bit of ominous atmosphere. On another level, it's good because it makes the music more truly progressive; as opposed to other metal bands with vocals really leading everything (sort of rock bands in disguise), the guitars are fundamentally in control on this album, making for a release which really does seem to be a step forward from most supposedly 'progressive' death metal.

This is a pretty strong first album from Corpulate. What it lacks in catchiness and memorability it makes up for in intensity and progression, so I'd say that this is an underrated item that fans of progressive death metal should check out. Of course, if you're going to heed that recommendation, really think about whether you genuinely like progressive death metal or you just want sweep riffs, because if it's the latter, this will be an unpleasant surprise to you.

Chaotic death grind with unique twists and turns - 87%

optimuszgrime, February 13th, 2008

This incredible young band from Ohio are quiet a treat. On their album they provide your not so typical death/grind, which is a breath of fresh air with all of the intense cloning and biting going on in this scene today. They are quiet obviously influenced by the slamming guttural crowd, as can be heard on their slower riffs, and also the vocal arrangements. The timing on their slower riffs and their riff structures coupled with their weird spastic riffs are something that cannot be heard elsewhere, however. The entire album sounds off at first glance, and the recording is not your best sounding stuff, the entire thing sounds hollow and bass filled. I am not too happy with the sound, but I would not be surprised if it turned out they intentionally made it sound this way. The lack of bass guitar is also felt, as the one guitar riff that you hear along with the blasting hyper-blasting epileptic drum riffs as well as the very low gutturals are not always enough to fill the void, thus making it sound somehow lacking.
However, that is all of the fault I can point to in this album, and I don’t even know where to point to show all of the incredible musicianship that these three boys bring. The drummer must be an octopus with ADD, or some shit, because not only is he all over the place, but he just sounds like he has a hard time sitting still. He is going off all over the drum set, stopping and going at odd times, and rolling where no sane minded individual would have thought of putting a roll. The guitars are nicely structured riffs that flow organically into each other, and the riffs are varied and way too many to even count, which is incredible seeing as their songs range form 1:30 to roughly 3:00!!!! Unbelievable achievement in that vein, and the riffs have a world of their own both sonically and structurally. I can link them to bands like Bound And Gagged and Disgorge a little bit. Except the riffs, that is something else entirely.
High lights include ‘Inexplicable Dimensional Phasing’, and all of the weird noise intros and outros, as well as the song ‘Carnal Emphasis’ along with the song ‘Afflicted’. A superb album that is going to be very hard to top for these guys. If they manage to they will gain their place as some of my top favorite tech death metal bands of all time, but after just one album I am still reluctant to do this. A masterpiece in every respect, however.