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Not Actually Carcass Worship - 97%

OMG PILLS NOMNOM, January 10th, 2019

Preliminaries: This album is not Carcass worship. It’s goregrind, for sure, but it sounds absolutely nothing like Carcass. It’s faster, significantly more technical, the vocals are better (more on that later), and the song structure is completely different than anything on Reek of Putrefaction or Symphonies of Sickness.

My initial thoughts when I put this CD on go something like this: The vocals are so deep they are almost shocking. There’s also a vicious snarl that makes me wonder if Antimo has some kind of medical condition (read: deformity) with his sinuses. The man sounds like an alligator crossed with a very heavy piece of cement being dragged over a hollow sidewalk. As for the music, what jumps out at me initially is the breakneck, explosive speeds with which much of the music is played.

Moving on...

The production, in my mind, is quite fitting for this type of music. Nothing is terribly muddy, but nothing is crystal clear, either. Everything is balanced nicely. The guitars are clear enough that I can appreciate the stunning technical prowess on display, but not so clear that it sounds polished in any way. The bass is somewhat (but not entirely) recessed in the mix, while the drums are quite nicely mixed in so that they don’t sound poorly produced (too loud, for instance) and they are not so recessed so as to be difficult to separate from the mix.

The music is extremely brutal (maybe the most brutal album ever recorded) and very technical. The song writing is interesting and their timing is impeccable. There’s this strange dichotomy between the style of music they play and the overwhelmingly flawless execution. These guys can seriously play; do not be fooled by the comparisons to bands like Carcass. These guys are in a different league. Another interesting thing about the music is that, while there is a very significant amount of full-on blasting on this album, each song is still memorable. There’s a lot more to a song than memorable riffs. How about memorable time changes? How about memorable vocal delivery? There is an awful lot to like on this is a deceptively complex album.

Another word about the vocals. I have to say, this is quite possibly the best vocal performance I’ve ever heard in the death/grind genre. Antimo is seriously gifted and quite terrifying. Not only is it quite varied, the delivery is impeccable as well. And those crackling snarls, man. He does not sound like a human being. His vocals get as low as the vocals done by Carcass or Dead Infection, but without the use of a pitch-shifter. No exaggeration.

Despite the obnoxious audio samples in (almost) every song, I’m awarding this album a 97%. I have never heard anything like it, and the musical expertise here is absolutely worthy of your attention.

side note: to circumvent the annoying audio samples, I programmed the album in iTunes to start each track at the end of the samples. I mention this only for those of you who cannot stand long samples. Don’t let it ruin your experience with this album. In my mind it is an essential album that positively cannot be missed.