Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2020
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

A unique death metal band captured in their prime - 79%

robotiq, December 14th, 2019

Dr. Shrinker were one of the best and most interesting non-album death metal bands. Their contemporary discography included three demos and one song from a split EP (with Nunslaughter). Their sound was constantly evolving throughout their brief history. The first demo ("Recognition") was simple crossover thrash with elements of death metal. The second one ("Wedding the Grotesque") was proper filthy death metal with wild vocals. By the time of the third demo ("The Eponym") they had developed into a darker, creepier, more experimental and intriguing beast.

This practice tape dates from the band's latter period and shows where Dr. Shrinker were heading before they called it a day. It contains both songs from their final demo along with "Our Necropsy" (the song from the split). It also showcases several previously unheard songs which exemplify the later Dr. Shrinker style. "In Body and Soul", Repulsive Habits" and "Grotesque Wedlock" are a treat for any Dr. Shrinker fan. All have menacing riffs, varied drumming, shrill guitar sounds and odd, off-time elements (sometimes sounding a bit like Voivod). "Bacterial Encroachment" originally appeared on their second demo, but this upgraded version has less conventional timing and some killer new sections and transitions. "Tracheotomy" is interesting but presumably unfinished, as it cuts out before the end.

The soloing is great and the melodies are better developed than before (some solos are a work in progress on this rehearsal, as you might expect). The drummer plays with a confidence and looseness that few metal drummers can emulate, which gives Dr. Shrinker's slower sections a characteristic 'bounce' and swagger. The band seemingly had little interest in contemporary death metal trends because they sound like no-one else. No death metal bands followed the path that Dr. Shrinker paved (perhaps Human Remains used the weirdness but they couldn't match the songwriting).

The sound quality is worse than Dr. Shrinker's demos but still communicates the band's ideas and energy. Fans of the band should acquire this immediately. The uninitiated should begin with "The Eponym" and "Wedding the Grotesque" in order to understand the true value of this recording.