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The greatest death metal album ever? - 100%

grimwinter13, June 5th, 2017

To call an album 'perfect' is a big deal. That means to actually go through that album many times, to become familiar with it, analyze it - and make an effort to find something wrong with it but end up not disappointed. There are so many albums which I love to death, and will swear up and down that they are masterpieces. But perfection? An album with absolutely zero negatives qualities surely must be the best in its genre. I try to reserve that title for the exclusively few albums which truly deserve it.

Devourment's 1999 debut full-length. Molesting the Decapitated. The band who pioneered slamming death metal. The epitome of horrid lyrics, disgusting vocals, and spine-crushing riffs. The stuff of nightmares. Even the most militant Cannibal Corpse fans would crumble in fear. You begin to question if this is a band, or a group of genuine serial-killers.

'Perfect death metal.' That's the only way to truly sum up Molesting the Decapitated. And the pinnacle of everything that makes up this album is that this is what death metal is supposed to be. Not flippy haircuts, breakdowns, and edgy audio clips. Devourment brings in the highest level of no screwing around, no playing games. No fucks given. From front to back, MTD is a half-hour of pure, brutal, disturbing death fucking metal. Nothing more, nothing less. And they've delivered this on every album they've ever done. So why is Molesting the Decapitated the best? Because by death metal's standards, NOTHING can compare. It's like when Slayer's Reign in Blood came out, hitting a level of heaviness no other thrash band could ever have achieved. So like how you can only judge Reign by Slayer's standards, you can only judge MTD by Devourment's standards.

First and foremost: no other Devourment album would be nearly half as good without the ideas that were presented on MTD. Dying Fetus and Suffocation would have two or three slams in their songs. But Devourment? "Pfft...fuck that! Every song is gonna be slams, with some blast beats to break those up!" This is that no-fuckery I was talking about before. MTD opens with about 30 seconds of a creepy Dahmer audio clip, then it's 30 minutes of slamming. Don't stop to breathe. Just slam, slam, slam! It hits you like four trains coming from all directions.

MTD differs from the other three albums in Devourment's catalogue by its production. Butcher the Weak showed a higher-level of studio polish, and that's what Devourment became. On MTD however, it doesn't sound like this was recorded in a studio. No, it sounds like it was recorded in a musty cellar while butchered entrails drip from the walls. When it comes to dark, filthy, and heavy - look no further. As if each copy of the CD was soaked in Satan's sewage before being sold.

Lyrically: holy shit. If you think Cannibal Corpse was fucked, you've only just dipped your toes in. Devourment does not hold back. The gore is genuinely sickening, perverted, and yet so captivating. Their gore lyrics easily dodge the pitfall of monotony, and instead entrance you into an inescapable fantasy of savage torture, rape, and coprophagia. The line 'I need meat on my cock' alone makes even me shiver. Nearly 20 years later, MTD is still shocking and leagues above any other of Devourment's followers in slamhood.

The vocals of Ruben Rosas are the finest example of guttural vocals. I place him above Mike Majewski, and even Wayne Knupp (RIP). Ruben's tube-like, gurgly gutturals blend in flawlessly with the distorted guitars and machinegun-fire drums.

Overall, the instrument ensemble works in perfect cooperation. The drums do the speedwork, the guitars hold down rhythm, and the bass keeps everything super deep, occasionally bludgeoning your skull in with a massive drop. Watch out for those in "Choking on Bile" and "Self Disembowelment"!

The greatest death metal album ever? In my opinion: yes. No way you're changing my mind. I'm set. Molesting the Decapitated is everything a slam fan could want for 30 minutes of hellish, sadistic death metal. This thing will churn your guts and make you scared to sleep at night. And you WILL be coming back for more.

Absolutely BRUTIFUL masterpiece - 93%

GuardAwakening, June 2nd, 2013

Devourment's signature brand of slams incorporated into an extremely heavy piece of death metal, a subgenre coined as "slam death metal", isolated this band forever as a memory in the museum of extreme metal. It's sheer glory; so much so that I don't get why Devourment doesn't seem to get as much recognition as they seem to deserve. This album is absolutely mad. It slams, it rocks and it's brutal as all hell. Especially considering that this was released in the '90s, I'm shocked at the amount of gore this record holds down to its very stereophonic-enabled musical formatting. An album cover featuring a naked obese man with his head missing, vocals that are 97% unintelligible and riffs tuned so low that they almost rock out your stereo speakers. This record is amazing and memorable by all means.

I don't even know where to start. I want to start with the vocals I suppose. Ruben Rosas marks his debut label performance on this release before his unfortunate jailtime that he landed ironically the night this album was released, which put the band on a temporary breakup. But Devourment rose again when Rosas was finally released, letting him land back into the band providing the guitars while the man who handled bass on this album; Mike Majewski took care of the gurgling bloodsoaked gutturals onward. I just want to say that Rosas' growls are an earthshake of blackened roars drenched in gore and madness. When I hear Devourment vocals (abeit Rosas or Majewski), I imagine them gurgling blood and not their own saliva. I mean frankly how could you not? Rosas is amazing on this release, I mean be it that it's almost impossible that you can understand him straightforward from hearing this album without presenting the lyrics beyond your very eyes while hearing it in simultaneous action, but his performance almost blows me away. And his vocal break near the end of the track "Devour the Damned" is possibly one of the sickest things that ever granted death metal.

Next up, I wanna talk about the drums, while not the most shining thing about this record, Brad Fincher is not a terrible drummer nor that stupendous of one either. He does land some tricks every now and then such as the awesome rhythm he pulls off with his snare in "Festering Vomitous Mass" that constantly makes me want to replay this song just for that part alone, but in some other parts, almost overplays his snare, such as in some parts on "Choking on Bile". I've heard a few complaints about Fincher's drumming on this release, but he personally is not as bad as people perceived him to be on this album (at least in what I see), and I'm usually really critical on drumming for extreme metal records. He's not bad at all and that's what I never understood for those that did complain about him. Even his fills are midly entertaining while his dynamics are above average at best.

Now I would like to speak of the band's two slammers themselves: Kevin Clark and Brian Wynn whom definitely deserve an honorable mention. Being that this is Devourment's only full studio album with more than just one guitarist, it's remotely interesting to hear the somewhat variation there is in the case of this. I hate to say it, but Clark is evidently a better slammer than Rosas. His slams are addictive and delicious. It's either to say that Clark slams better than Rosas or he just does it more consistently or in better parts than Rosas does his slams, because this album is Devourment's best album for a clear reason and it would be shallow of me to say that it is just for the slams. But I let alone can't ignore the slams in songs such as "Postmortal Coprophagia" which are just GOREgeous or abeit the heavy tremolos he pulls off in the title track along with some pinch harmonics he pulls off in the same song. For some reason the pinch harmonics in the chorus for the title track make me think of a machine (1:54 of the song if you want to hear for yourself). I've heard the technique used in this way before that for some reason makes me think of a said "machine", but I can't exactly explain why. Must be a cranking squeal sound that I subconsciously have appear in my head somewhere? Hahaha. Well anyways, regardless from this, I'll now talk about the bass work.

While the bass is not so audible than on later Devourment albums, Mike Majewski's work on the four strings are deemed decent enough to credit him as a worthy death metal bass player to be put among the likes of (maybe) later bassists such as Marcin Rygiel or Brent Riggs. However, he's got a long way before I can pit him up against someone like Alex Webster. In the end, Majewski proved he's at least decent on the instrument before taking up the famed vokills position for the band, thus showing off that he's almost as good as a growler as Rosas later on.

All in all, I have to say I LOVE this album. This record put them on the map and for a very good reason. The controversial cover art, maddening heavyness and sheer utter brutality is all here. A perfect record to add to any metal collector's collection. The fame and recognition this album holds is by all means underrated as I see it. Buy this album, even if you have to scavenge the Internet for a copy. That's all I have to say.

  • Guitar performance: 9/10
  • Drum performance: 7/10
  • Bass performance: 6/10
  • Vocal performance: 10/10
  • Production: 7/10
  • Creativity/innovation: 10/10

    Biggest ear catchers: "Festering Vomitous Mass", "Postmortal Coprophagia", "Self Disembowelment" and "Devour the Damned".
  • Devourment - Molesting the Decapitated - 95%

    Master0fButchery171, June 11th, 2012

    Devourment is my friend's favorite band, he told me about this band and recommended to check this. When I was bought the album I didn't listen the album immediately, because I wanted to wait the right mood. It was 2 and half weeks later when I first time listened this album, and what I heard was something very incredible. This album is combination of very low and deep guttural vocals, one of the deepest I've ever heard, very awesome drumming combined with very fast rolls, fast blast beats and other hand, some very slamming beats, guitars are very matched with the drums and the guitars are very low too, I can't hear the bass very well, but it doesn't matter because this album's quality is very soft to me.

    All 8 songs encases a very devourment typical lyrics, perversions, torture, death and gore and they have really used some time to create those lyrics, because I've seen some bands which I can't find any lyrics at all, or at least nobody has put any lyrics on the internet or anywhere. This band also doesn't use very much samples, only in Festering Vomitous Mass and Shroud of Encryption, which is quite good, because as this album is very amazing, they don't spoil this album with samples, like some sample in every song, so there I hear the real joy of making music.

    I give 95 because this album is masterpiece. The vocals are one of the bests, guitars rhymes with the drums and the vocals, and the drums are just matching very good in this album. This is an album which every brutal death metal lover have to have.

    This album... - 82%

    DagZeta, January 6th, 2012

    Well, this is kind of a strange album. I don’t mean strange as in the songs are all written weird. I mean strange as in the relationship I have with this album. I don’t hate this album, but for some reason it seems to be the butt of a lot of jokes for me. I’ve only been able to listen to the whole thing straight through once, but I still wish I could bring myself to do so once again. Anyway…

    This album is brutal. This album kind of scares me. The cover art makes me cringe, but it’s safe to say Devourment really gets the job done. It’s obvious that these sick fucks really wanted to make this as brutal and disgusting as they could possibly make it, and I think they more than succeeded. Now, I said that the album scares me, but I meant that in one of the best ways possible. I said I can’t listen to it all the way through anymore, but it’s still pretty awesome.

    First of all, the riffs are all pretty solid. Throughout the album there are sick breakdowns that Waking the Cadaver wishes they could write. It’s incredibly down tuned and slams you in the face like a body bag being thrown at you out of nowhere. The rhythm always kept me interested. One moment there’d be an insane breakdown, the next there would be a fast blasting section. For the most part, they manage to pull of the transitions quite nicely. However, there is one complaint I have in the riff department. These guys seem to have a tendency to stay within the first couple of frets of the guitar for most of the time. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, yet it’d be nice if they change it up a little bit.

    No matter how slow the riffs get, the drumming is always blasting away. It seems like the guy can really make his way around the kit, but I always get somewhat of an impression that his timing is off. Sometimes, blasting away above slow riffs kills it. More importantly, there’s one drum (I think it may be the snare, I really don’t know which is which) that sounds way too high pitched when compared to every other drum and while he blasts that one on top of the lower pitched ones, it really pisses me off. It doesn’t help that I get the impression that he uses that technique far too frequently for my taste.

    Now, you can’t really talk about this album with mentioning the vocals. Ruben Rojas utilizes some kind of pig squeal, but it’s one of the best ones I’ve heard (probably my second favorite one). It’s incredibly guttural and not an inhaled pile of garbage. The intensity of the first verse of “Festering Vomitous Mass” is an incredible example of how he can keep a fast rhythm while still staying brutal. This is one of the few occasions where I actually considered pig squeals to be brutal (the fact that I often associate them with deathcore is probably why I usually don’t like them). The combined assault of these insane guttural vocals and the sick breakdowns makes this album brutal as all hell. HOWEVER, as much as I enjoy the vocals, after about halfway through “Postmortal Corprophagia” I start to get sick of them. Fortunately, this issue is soon solved with one word, “CORPROPHAGIA!” which is uttered in a still guttural (not squealing) but completely comprehensible manner. Though, unfortunately, I’m sick of the squeals again by the midpoint of the album.

    One of the reasons this album frightens me are the lyrics. For the most part, all of them are about murder, rape, or a combination of the two (necrophilia!). One track in particular, “Self Disembowelment,” managed to thoroughly disturb me. It’s about jacking off while his guts are falling out and devouring his semen soaked innards when he’s done. And then it ends with the lines:

    “And to complete this carnage
    I cut off my gore soaked dick”

    Lovely. Words like “cock,” “dick,” and “fuck” all seem to be staple in the lyric department. This type of lyrics is exactly what I hate. There a right way to do gore, and there’s a wrong way. The right way is more in the vein of Carcass, the wrong way is more in the vein of anything Chris Barnes has ever put to paper. This falls more in the second category. Fortunately, it almost feels like there’s not lyrics whatsoever since the vocals are delivered in a highly indecipherable way.

    Despite everything I hate about this, the positives do outweigh the negatives in a way that I can still find enjoyment out of this. Unfortunately, after listening to it, I can barely remember any of what happened. All I know is that it was sick as hell and brutal as possible. Definitely worth at least listening to.

    Deliciously Vile - 83%

    the_trendkill, June 27th, 2011

    Although "Devourment" is not the most pleasant sounding name, a newcomer would not guess that said band has produced the most downright vile music ever. The whole album sounds like a crocodile gargling in a recently-used toilet tracked over a threshing machine. The lyrics (which are incomprehensible on the tracks, so you'll have to look them up to read them) may very well the be most sickening strings of words ever created by a human. The title is completely over the top. The cover - I can barely stand to look at it for more than a few seconds before wincing and turning away.

    And yet, despite everything I've stated above, I love it. It's great. Most importantly, it's ridiculous, which I feel is the whole point of Devourment's music. This is not meant to be a serious, musically complex, challenging release. This is meant to be a wall of rumbling noise and nonsense. That's the key to appreciating this album. You have to see it for what it is. This is the most raw, stripped-down, basic slam in the world. It's the recipe from which all subsequent slam albums have been crafted.

    The production is substandard, which is the status quo in this genre. If it sounded like it had been recorded and mixed at a major record label's professional studio, I would question the sanity of those involved in the process. The talent of the musicians is up for debate, although I contend that it takes extraordinary skill to play this sort of music - it's just really repetitive. Not that it hasn't been said before, but the vocals on this album are absolutely inhuman. I'm uncertain if Ruben Rosas is a god among men or a living terror, but regardless, the depth of his range is inconceivable. The gurgling growl he unleashes at the close of the final track, Shroud of Encryption, is the deepest sound I have ever heard produced by a human being.

    So what's so good about the album? It's tough for me to answer that. Honestly, taken at face value the whole thing is a horrific mess and has little to no musical value. However, taken for what it is and appreciating it as a horrific mess, it's superb. Molesting the Decapitated is like a Z-grade splatter film. You don't watch that movie for its cinematic qualities, its thought provoking and personally involving plot, or its top-notch acting: you watch it because it's a cheap movie full of cheap, gory thrills. This album is the same thing in sound form.

    There's nothing deep here. Even after listening to the whole album in one shot, from beginning to end, I can barely remember a thing from it. What I can remember is that I enjoyed every second of it. It's entertaining. The riffs are repetitive and they aren't all that memorable, but they're enjoyable. The vocals, as already mentioned are out of this world. The drumming varies from standard issue to absolutely preposterous. There are two distinct sections from the drum track in Choking on Bile that I'm certain were mechanically enhanced. Having spent years around snare drums, I cannot imagine anyone playing a blast beat that fast. It's so fast it's right on the verge of being a drum corps style snare roll. That being said, that doesn't detract from the album's value one bit. In fact, it enhances it. When I heard those rolling spots, I burst out laughing. It's completely insane.

    So, to sum it up, the album is an enigma. I don't know if it's bad, good, or so-bad-it's-good. What I do know is that it's enjoyable and it's a fun listen for fans of brutal music. I'm not going to claim it's an all-time great album or even a personal favorite, but I will say that it gets the job done. It will blow your head off, which is probably what happened to the guy on the front cover.

    Rotten - 98%

    mrdanteaguilar, June 25th, 2011

    Starting by the cover art that causes puke everywhere, especially when you go to some food court proudly wearing it. It doesn't get much clearer than this; ''molesting the decapitated'' has some decapitated dude ready to be severely molested. Not only is this Devourment's very first official release but also one of the first brutal death metal albums I've ever stumbled upon (being honest, the picture made me laugh at first. Then I blasted this on my stereo and I couldn't stop headbanging) It's hard to describe if you have never listened to Devourment or brutal death metal before, so I will try to describe it as much as possible.

    The vocals sound abominably guttural (in a good way) going as deep as possible, creating the most rotten, sludgiest, most putrid sound you can imagine without using voice distortion whatsoever with the most unintelligible lyrics imaginable to man. Even with the lyrics included in the booklet, you won't be able to tell what the hell he's saying, which is excellent for this kind of musical composition. Besides, they talk about necrophilia and eating babies, so you don't need to understand anything.

    Also the guitars have a very fucking brutal tone that has a dirty, nasty, gritty sound. Also playing the simplest yet heaviest riffs. Most of the songs just chug the whole time and have very few leads, but don't expect breakdowns, oh no. These guys play their slam riffs perfectly, probably using just the first five frets and many inverted power chords. Molesting The Decapitated, Festering Vomitous Mass and Self Disembowelment are a perfect example. Of course they all have very fast guitar patterns as well just to create noise but overall the song structures are groovy as fuck.

    You should also add the bass which is ultra deep. Even though the bass line is just following the guitar melody, you can distinguish the bass by its tremendously deep tone that creates too much distortion when blasted through weak speakers (including some old headphones I had which were a little damaged while listening to this).

    Finally, add the sloppiest drums you can imagine, but instead of sounding like crap (Waking The Cadaver) this guy just plays whatever the fuck he wants, of course, keeping the pace at all times. Fast gravity blasts here, double bass there but overall slams. Yes, slam drum patterns dominate and make you want to mosh and sometimes even dance (why not?) with a very raw tone, especially the snare that sounds like they just bought it, tuned it as tight as possible and started recording.

    Overall, you can't miss this album. Punishing riffs, brutal as hell vocalization, fucked up lyrics, brutal bass, what could possibly go wrong? Your extreme metal collection should most definitely include this somewhere between Abominable Putridity and Internal Bleeding.

    Cop-ro-pha-gia! - 85%

    TheSunOfNothing, January 16th, 2010

    Other than a few bands like Wormed and Dripping, slam death metal has never really been my cup of tea. It's not that I hate it, I just prefer tech/old school to this. However, it's nearly impossible to say no to such an awesome release. I'll admit, it's flawed, but it's still a satisfying album to jam out to when you feel like saying "fuck you" to everything that stands for intelligence and thought-provokingness. In other words, it's literally so dumb and unintelligent that it becomes entertaining.

    As far as the sound goes, I'd compare it a bit to Dying Fetus, just replace both the vocalists with guttural vocals, and focus on the first 1-5 frets of the guitar. As expected, the album consists mostly of slams and grinds, but the energy contained within will no doubt make you headbang relentlessly for at least 10 minutes at some point in it's run. The songs are mostly longer in length than other death/grind bands, most being in the 4 minute range. A few songs like "Postmortal Coprophagia" and "Fucked to Death" extend the runtime to 5 and 6 minutes though, and trust me, these two songs specifically will have you lying on the floor begging for mercy! It's that fucking brutal! I mean, with all the songs being in a similar vein after awhile the songs tend to get boring, but I'd still say they sound solid.

    The guitars, bass, drums, and vocals are all done perfectly here. Bass is the main focus of the sound, and while it's hard to hear it, this album owes 90% of it's brutality to this instrument. Mike would later switch from bass to vocals, a bad desicion in my eyes, but oh well. The drums are insane with the snare drum in particular shining with insane rolls the speed of lightening. Brad Fincher was definatly Devo's best drummer, and after you hear this you'll probably say the same thing. He's a little bit modest on the kit, but for what he does he's great! Then there's the vocals, performed by Ruben Rosas (later switched to guitar). The vocals here are mostly guttural gurgles, but a few songs have a little higher pitched gurgles and at times he'll stop the gurgling and let out a growl ("Postmortal Coprophagia" being a good example, with the drum/vocal break where he growls "cop-ro-pha-gia!".) The guitars are what disappoint me. No solos, and a shitty guitar tone, courtesy of Brian Wynn (as always). The riffs are completly forgettable and unnoticeable, but the constant slams in this department will keep you interested. And I mean that seriously, the slams are definatly a good thing here.

    So while I prefer to listen to a band like Mortician while in the mood for ultra brutal death (Mortician being a favourite of mine), these guys are totally a band to check out too, and if you like brutal death metal and haven't heard this album then I feel sorry for you.

    8/10

    Gutturality - 97%

    Cynical_Misanthropy, July 23rd, 2009

    The original slam album and the only one to do it correctly. Devourment's Molesting the Decapitated in 1999 showed the world exactly how 'brutal' death metal can get. Borrowing heavily upon the early material of Suffocation, adding the most guttural vocals, and a tad of perversion is what Devourment took to create the most guttural and sickening album ever. This cd is definitely not for most, the sheer sound will assault those not accustomed to extreme metal, but is also some of the best of what the world of death metal has to offer.

    Upon first listen (and I'm sure the same goes for others) the most profound element of the album to me was the vocals. Beastly, insanely deep, guttural vocals. Ruben Rosas is paralleled by none. His vocals are low growls and roars that are so deep that they have their own demented echo. You'll be amazed the entire time at the kinds of sound Ruben makes without a pitch-shifter while rapping along with the beat of the music. Because of the guttural vocals there is almost no enunciation. Unlike Lord Worm’s early completely unintelligible works, Ruben has a little enunciation, almost none, but granted it's some. The lyrics are almost completely indecipherable except for shouts like "I take pride in killing". The vocals completely fit the sound of the cd, and go along with the overall thick sound. If you take the time to read the lyric booklet, which I highly doubt, you’re dropped amongst tales of killing, raping, and self-mutilation. Exactly the type of material you'd expect to read from a band with the name Devourment. You’re better off listening to the sound of Ruben's vocals if you want something interesting. The final track, "Shroud of Encryption", shows just the odd kinds of sounds Ruben can make, especially during the main slam in the middle.

    Next we have the frantic and groovy work of Brian Wynn and Kevin Clark’s guitar. On this album is the blueprint for all future slam. Using slow paced riffs derived from Suffocation and other NYDM is what makes these incredibly brutal moments. The slam strays away from the slow paced chugga-chugga of hardcore by having a few more palm-muted chords, focusing on the thick distorted sound of the guitar, and sometimes ending on a pinch-harmonic. But Devourment, is the only band to contrast these slams correctly and with something fresh. Unlike what other slam bands would eventually do, Devourment does not abuse the slam. In-between slams in the songs, furious grind-laden guitar work is thrown in mix, providing the mirror image of the slam. You’ll be thrashing your head about one minute, and then bobbing your head to the thick, extremely down-tuned guitar the next minute.

    Brad Fincher provides his incredibly fast blasts and tight fills for this album of TXDM (Texas Death Metal). Using quick double bass and a slow beat on the snare is how Brad plays during the slams. Then to a fill and off to an inhuman blast. Gravity blasts so fast it makes a machine gun sound like it belonged in doom metal. Much like the guitar work, the drums are mixed up and constantly changing so you're not stuck listening to the same thing. In the drums however, lies one of the only faults in this album. Somehow the snare snuck away with a high pitched sound that doesn't fit in with the heavy atmosphere of the cd. In contrast however, because of its distinct sound you are able to easily hear just how fast Brad can blast. Standouts of the percussion work in the album are the blasts on "Choking on Bile" and the entirety of "Self Disembowelment".

    The most infused element of the cd is the bass guitar. Not much can be said about it, it’s what makes up most of the thick sound mentioned numerous times in this review. There are a couple parts where it sticks out; the bit in "Fucked to Death" where the guitar and drums pause to let the bass play, immediately comes to mind. Such a shame that the bass has become under-emphasized in brutal death metal. Oh well, better than it sounding like the snare does.

    What Devourment has left us with is a landmark album with its place in brutal death metal history. An entire sub-genre within death metal was also established with this legendary release. It’s impossible to choose overall standout tracks as each song is great and has parts that will have you growling along with it. If you're looking for the most guttural recording ever or simply enjoy brutal death metal and have somehow managed to miss this release, then this is a must listen for you.

    "I kill motherfuckers everyday!"

    The heaviest album of the 90s...fucking slammified - 95%

    DaddyZeus67, May 23rd, 2009

    Oh yes Devourment...this band took it from where Internal Bleeding left with Voracious Contempt and thus put the start to a variant of brutal death known as slam death metal. This was also the first slam band I ever heard! Good thing I got to known with the very best of the genre right away instead of the so goddamn generic and unoriginal Waking The Cadaver lol! I don't mind them these days though since I've become a huge slam death fanboy and I can actually take whatever the shit band would spawn from the genre...but that's a different story.

    Anyway I got to known with this band around the times I was getting more into death metal music and tried to find more bands in the genre...I had never heard this type of brutal death metal before but the weirdness of Devourment's music was exactly that attracted me so much, as well as their sickening lyrical themes reminding me of Cannibal Corpse's Tomb Of The Mutilated (song titles like "Fucked To Death"... hell yeah the first song I heard from this band). Funny thing that it took me several months to actually realize that this was my very introduction to slam death metal...and what makes it even more ironic is that the first slam band ever would also be the first slam band I came across.

    This however is Devourment's ground breaking debut album Molesting The Decapitated. Let's start with the vocals because that's the first thing to get my attention in this band. Ruben Rosas has a very VERY deep guttural vocal style that even Chris Barnes couldn't reach in his best days. There is no high pitch, just the same guttural all over and the vocals conquer about 80% of each song, but that's really all there is needed for it. Most of the time Ruben sounds like a very angry pig was singing here...yet he doesn't even need to inhale ("pig squeals") here and most importantly he NEVER used any vocal effects in Devourment. These growls don't sound pitch shifted or anything which impresses me like hell! This must be the main reason slam vocalists in general don't use vocal effects either. The vocal rhythms go with the slamming riffs and sometimes sound even hip hop derived, take the beginning of the title track for example. There is a damn brutal slam riff playing and on the top of it Ruben sounds like a mixture of madass boar and rapper. It also seems that the second guitarist Kevin Clark and even the producer D. Braxton Henry contribute to the vocals as well. Mostly these "guest" vocals are done as back-ups for Ruben's lead gutturals ("Choking On Bile" at 3:11).

    It's impossible to make out any words from this but if you try really hard and have the lyrics in hand you may be able to follow up with what this guy tries to explain here. The only even remotely decipherable part I can remember is in the song "Postmortal Coprophagia" at 2:29 where Ruben growls "Coprophagia!" and also at 4:30 where he goes "haemorrhaging, blood drips on my feet...." but other than that...don't bother to even try. But hey this is what slam death is all about! Deep inhuman gutturals that fit the pounding music perfectly.

    Guitars are very downtuned and the riffing stays very consistent through the entire record. There is fast tremolo chord picking that tends to sound like complete mess because of the low tuning and then there is of course the slower palm muted and crushing breakdown riffs, the slams. And god is there lots of those in this record. Loads of slamming breakdowns go one after another in every song, among the occasional fast parts. There is so many slam breakdowns that it may even get to the point of boredom at times and most of the time these breakdowns sound the same anyway. But don't worry, Kevin and Brain weren't dumb enough to ignore that chance so they made at least one massive and very crushing slam for pretty much each song to stand out. Take "Self Disembowelment" for example, starting off fast and then slowing down a bit to the first verse that definitely gets anyone headbang like a maniac. Then suddenly the whole song stops, the drummer does 2 cymbal hits and then the band starts playing one of the sickest slow and heavily crushing slam breakdowns ever! And towards the end it comes again. There is one similar slam part in "Devour The Damned" but the cymbal hits are done differently and the tempo is bit faster.

    Even the bass guitar can be heard in this record, especially in "Fucked To Death" and "Devour The Damned" where the guitars go silent in couple sections. And surprisingly the bass guitar isn't even distorted, making the tracks a little clearer to listen to. Although the bass tends to drown under the guitars quite often but at least it's still there. Makes the overall sound heavy as hell.

    And for last we have to deal with the spine of the slam, the drum beast Brad Fucking Fincher! This dude really should have never quit playing drums actively in bands (and I'm glad he's uniting with Brain in this new upcoming project that appears to be called Meshiha) because I'm telling you, Brad is one of the craziest brutal death metal drummers I have ever seen! His blast beats and gravity blasts are fast as fuck and he does amazing double bass too. His fills are good though nothing exceptionally amazing...there isn't many tom rolls in this CD...but overall this guy is insane! His drumming also sounds very tight and controlled, it's obvious that this man knows exactly what he's doing and he doesn't need to push his limits at all to reach these amazing speeds. The problem with some drummers trying to sound brutal (Cannibal Corpse, Waking the Cadaver etc.) is that they're just trying to sound as fast and noisy as ever and they have to go to the very limits of their skills to achieve that. Not only do they simply fail at sounding like the most brutal drummer ever but their attempts would always result in an awfully sloppy and forced sound... but with this guy it doesn't feel like that. Not at all.

    But the production in this record....seems to me that this band had absolutely NO money or budget at all to properly mix and produce music because the sound quality just sucks. The guitar tone despite being downtuned and heavily distorted is pretty damn weak and that prevents this CD from sounding as brutal and heavy as it could actually be. The weak drum sound doesn't help either...Fincher seems to use lots of finger technique in his blast beats which of course can't sound very powerful and also the snare sound is pretty weak and silent which only makes the situation worse. The bass drums should also be mixed way louder. All together it basically sounds like some kind of a demo that few guys recorded in their garage but it's not so raw that you couldn't still tell it's a studio release. On another note though....this type of low budget production gives this record a particular atmosphere that could never be achieved in a super fancy studio. The music sounds pretty dark actually and the sampling in the very beginning and the very ending of the album help quite a lot too. I suppose it's exactly this low quality production that got Devourment sound like no other and that is why I got into them in the first place.

    The songs in general are essentially the same but that's nothing sort of a problem here. At least they aren't doing anything stupid. And if Devourment want to try something new they will simply make another album that sounds different (and by the way that's exactly what they did 6 years after this one came out...sometime soon I'll get around reviewing Butcher The Weak too). This is a perfect introduction to slam death metal and also the whole genre started from here so go get this awesome record as soon as possible! Also be sure to check the later albums from this band...it's fucking Devourment and they can do no wrong.

    Legendary - 93%

    DivineDevil, June 16th, 2007

    This is the first album by the legendary band Devourment. Legendary because they set the beginning of a new genre - slam death metal. The special thing about this release is that bands that formed a new genre, mostly don't play it all too good (because they just don't know how it is supposed to sound), think about Possessed, Venom and Slayer (1st album, after that they were perfect). But this band plays the most sickening death metal I have heard thus far, and that is quite an accomplishment for the first in the genre.

    As I said, they are really sickening! This is mostly due to the very low vocals. You can almost not believe that this is done without using a pitchshifter, but they really didn't use it. These vocals add something to the band that I haven't heard in many bands. Only downside is that you really can not decipher the lyrics. Don't get me wrong, I like it when you can't hear what a grunter is singing, but in this case it is just really extreme, although not less pleasant to listen to.

    But not only the vocals are really low, the guitars are very low as well. They are so low that you almost can't hear what chords they are playing. I'm saying almost because if you listen carefully you can. These guitars add another thing to the music that makes it even more sickening, and, at times that the guitars are played very slow (in Devourment terms, that is), it sounds very groovy. At the times that it is played fast, it sounds very sickening, like an eruption of sound.

    The only downside I can get out of this release (if you don't count the non-decipherable lyrics) are the drums. As I said, every instrument is very low, which makes it very pleasant to listen to. Only the drums aren't low. And that is something that this release misses. The drummer plays very fast and very technical, only the production makes it sound like shit. And that point annoys me every time I hear it. I hope that they will make a remastered version with the drums lower. But until that time, it just annoys me, and I can't give the full 100% for this release. It may seem like a small thing, but if you listen to it, and hear that every instrument is incredibly low and the drums aren't, it gets really annoying.

    Pure, Brainless Fun - 85%

    ChrisDawg88, September 9th, 2006

    Devourment is a band that has achieved superstar status within the brutal death community, due more to their vocalist Ruben Rosas and the disgustingly offensive nature of their lyrics then any real songwritingn ability. The band's disography is quite fragmented, with Molesting The Decapitated being their only full-length release with the classic lineup amidst a smid of various demos and compilations. So, how does Devourment's breakdown-blast-repeat style fare in a full-length album? Surprisingly well, actually.

    Molesting The Decapitated is a short, simple album that follows a very strict formula in the songwriting department, and as a result most of these songs do very little to make themselves distinct from one another. Normally, for me at least, this would be a big hindrance in my enjoyment of the album, but Devourment does what they do so well its really hard to nock them for it. This band is credited for creating the subgenre-within-a-subgenre-within-a-subgenre called "slam death", an offshoot of brutal death metal that basically turns down the vocals even more in pitch and writes whole songs based around the breakdowns that pioneer Suffocation made famous. The guitars and bass are ludicrously downtuned and heavy, the drums alternate between slow and blast and the vocals...well, we'll get to them later.

    As I said before, the songs all basically sound the same, with very little in the way of hooks to set them apart, and NO solos or leads whatsoever. Despite this, they are extremely fun to listen to. The riffs are slow and chugging and just fucking cool, and in spite of the fact that they are just a bunch of breakdowns spliced together, the songs really seem to flow well. The lyrics are just as gross and unspeakable as you would expect given the cover art and track titles, and the songs (and album as a whole) seem to be a good length, with "Postmortal Coprophagia" being the only one that drags on a little bit.

    This brings us to the only element of Molesting The Decapitated that I felt really sets it apart from its countless peers-the vocals. Bear in mind that I don't listen to that much brutal death metal (although plenty of death in general), but Ruben Rosas's vocals are by far the deepest and most guttural I have ever heard, and WITHOUT A PITCHSHIFTER! The first time you hear these vox, your jaw will hit the floor. The vocals are actually almost so low that they lose any heaviness whatsoever, as a lot of time it seems like you are hearing the vibrations from his throat, which remind me somewhat of a chirping cricket, more then the actual growls he was making. However, like the rest of the band, these vocals just sound so damn COOL. I can't think of a better fit for vocalist for this band, and I think that the new vocals in Butcher The Weak (released in 2005) are the main reason that album failed to deliver.

    Its hard to pick album highlights, but I would have to say opener "Festering Vomitous Mass", which starts with a sample clip of an interview with a schizophrenic serial killer that begins the album on the perfect note, "Choking On Bile", "Self Disembowelment", and closer "Shroud Of Encryption" as my favorites. Flaws? Well, the production could be better, as during the blast sections I really can't make out what the hell is coming from the guitars. Also, it seems like they overtriggered the drums in some places, as I absolutely refuse to believe that the now infamous blast sections in "Choking On Bile" were made without mechanical assistance-its just not possible. Also, I think it would have been cool to hear a guitar lead everynow and again, as the pounding bass-only sound gets tiresome sometimes.

    Ultimately, if you can accept Molesting The Decapitated for what it is, you'll have a hell of a time with it. I see bands like Devourment as the death metal version of rap; basic, unintelligent, uniform, and perfect for some good, mindless listening. Oh yeah, and its heavy as fuck. This is the perfect album to play at high volumes in the car with the windows down-not only is it a blast to play while driving, but you will surely get some amusing stares from pedestrians. Go ahead and pick this up.

    Brutal - 97%

    astathica, September 18th, 2005

    One of the best records in years, especially in the brutal death metal underground. Because, what's better then a gutteral sick death band at extreme speed? Ofcourse, a guttural sick death band that grooves like a fucking maniac while obtaining one of the sickest sounds ever created.

    First the album starts off with a little soundbite from a serial killer called Joseph Kallinger, a religic fanatic that murdered his family and others in the name of the lord. And as soon as the first tones of "Festering Vomitous Mass" tag along, you know what's to expect from this cd: the complete and utter destruction of every bit of decency left in music. It's rancid, horrid, putrid and above all, it's damn near brilliant!

    The musicians are good. No top-notch technical marksmanship within the ranks of guitarists, and that's exact where you don't want them either. Bands like these don't need some Malmsteen on guitars, because it'll flood with sound before you can say "Impaled Jesus in a Barney Suit". No, this record needs some low-tuned laid-back but raw as fuck guitars, and that's exactly what you'll get. But then there's the drummer, and that's a whole different piece of work. This brute, this maniac shows off both brutality ánd perfect technique in what seems to be over 6000 beats per minute. His left hand snare bounce is so controlled he could kill a cat by simply tapping a twig on his head for a minute. And no, there's no triggering in this, this is plain hard labour going on there. Especially the famous double roll blast (a single/double stroke played over a blast-speed twin roll) sounds incredible. Being a drummer i must say i have the deepest respect for mr. Fincher.

    Well, at final we have songwriting. There's the one point i like to tip, and even though it's not a minor point but a plus for me, it may be a minor point for whoever likes variety. Because there isn't any. All songs have different in- and outro's, but that's nearly all to it. Some rolls and riffs stand out inbetween the songs, but put a few lines and samples inbetween and you got yourself a more then 30-minute during song. It's like buying a dozen of apples and examine them individually, but they still look the same. But then again, don't we all love apples. Yes, dem apples.

    Molesting my ears. - 94%

    skullkrusher, November 24th, 2002

    Without a doubt The Fastest, The Heaviest, The Sickest. TXDM has always been that way though. This is one of the most uniquely sick and twisted Brutal Death Metal releases to ever grace my ears. Before I go on about how amazing the music is, I must say, that is one brutal cover. Leave it to Devourment to shock & amaze. Anyways, some might consider the riffs on this to be slam riffs, but who really cares. They may be slam riffs, but they are so damn heavy and fast why does it matter. The drummer is amazing, but one problem I had with his style, well not really his style, but they overtriggered the snares in a few parts on a few tracks so it goes faster than they meant it to and it kind of seems out of place. The bass is nicely done, by their genius artist Mike Majewski. The highligh of this record though has to be the sickest guttural growls and gurgles ever recorded by my vocal idol Ruben Rosas. This guy can do wonders without a pitchshifter, I am still trying to perfect my vocals to be as his. Overall a great release and very highly recommended. The best tracks are Choking On Bile & the tile track, Molesting The Decapitated.