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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.