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Kind of awkward, too bad they never did a second - 70%

Noktorn, January 15th, 2010

Well, 'Molesting The Decapitated' did come out four years before this, and Internal Bleeding certainly had a career before this was even a twinkle in its daddies' eyes, and the whole idea of 'slam' wasn't really a mysterious or unheard one at this point, but I still see 'Septical Stomach-Pumped Remnants' as a sort of proto-slam album. You know, where fairly regular brutal death/grind bands put something approximating slams in their songs without really knowing what to call them or what they were there for, just that they sounded heavy and provided a nice break between blasts for the instrumentalists to recover? It falls prey to a lot of the same issues; it gets a little confused at times, unsure of exactly what to play or how to keep things interesting, doesn't know how to transfer from a groove to a blast properly, you know the drill. At the same time, though, the album manages to be entertaining despite its pitfalls, and while I'm not entirely sure why it has a sort of Incestuous-type canonization in the more oldschool brutal death scene, it has its place as a formative and solid album.

The song structure of just about every track on the album can be summarized as the following: blast, breakdown, go to step one. There's a lot that can be done with that; it can be surprisingly intricate, well composed, cleverly paced. None of that is really here. A breakdown on 'Septical Stomach-Pumped Remnants' is generally begun by just stopping a blast beat and going directly into the groove, consequences or pacing be damned. It makes for an altogether abrupt and kind of weirdly-paced listening experience, like that of a local band suddenly given a decent amount of recording money but still trying to find their feet stylistically. The band is comfortable with blasting and abrupt, technical fills, but not so much with the slams, which often come off as a little half-formed. There's some surprisingly mature moments which use very modern styles of rhythmic variation to keep a slam going even though in essence they're playing the same riff, but I think these moments are arrived at somewhat accidentally.

The vocals and the drums really carry this since most of the riffs are kind of forgettable when they're not just being used as a blunt instrument syncing up with the bass drums. The vocals are almost absurdly wet and slurring, certainly some of the more 'brutal' (if that's the word you'd use) for their time, and the drumming is pretty fun and reminds me a bit of what Digested Flesh would do just a year later on their full-length, with a certain amount of funk and playful bounce giving a bit more life to riffs which on their own come off as rather sterile. The production is pretty bottom-heavy and seems more reminiscent of older styles of death metal production; mids are overly scooped and the guitar tone is a little wonky and synthetic. I suppose there's enough bass to do what's necessary but a bit more depth would be appreciated.

The slim running time is pretty beneficial; by the time the last track rolls around this is usually wearing on me a fair amount and the band knows that it's time to gracefully exit. So goes the rest of the album; it's decent if oddly executed but eventually you want something with some more richness to it. Nevertheless, it's fun while it lasts and stands out as a sort of curiosity for its time that shouldn't be entirely forgotten, though it's probably a twice-a-year listen for the most part.