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Heboïdophrenie - Cannibalism for Dummies - 84%

Edmund Sackbauer, July 7th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2020, CD, Great Dane Records

I am always a bit wary whenever a band or an album is tagged as deathcore. More often than not I am starting to lose interest over the course of a record, with what sounds to me the same song played over and over again. However, there are some acts combining the classic trademarks of this specific genre with more traditional and technical metal. If done right this can lead to an interesting end result. One such band I recently stumbled upon is the French outfit HEBOÏDOPHRENIE. After their debut full length “Origin of Madness” from 2013 they are back with album number two titled “Cannibalism for Dummies”. This one has been released by Great Dane records, a label I mainly associate with more old school stuff. However, they also showed that they always keep an eye looking a bit outside of the box so it should be that much of a surprise to find something like this in their roster.

For those unfamiliar with the French death dealers being subject of this review, HEBOÏDOPHRENIE peddles a blend of technical death metal and deathcore songwriting that’s melodically rich while being refreshingly unfussy in execution. The album we are talking about here is a titanic wall of riffs that showcases the band’s penchant for catchiness without sacrificing an oddly accessible approach to technical songwriting. The basic riffs always walk the fine path between modern sounding core-bands and chords more reminiscent of classic death/thrash metal acts.

Right from the opening song, the absurdly titled “HFC (Human Are Fucking Cooked)”, the band attack the tracks with fearsome and almost relentless venom. This and some other songs pack an especially beastly, churning groove made all the more potent by the drop into it from the preceding blasts – a trick they pull repeatedly. While not really a djent album per se “Cannibalism for Dummies” does sometimes remind a bit of such, particularly in the guitar tones and the more spacious, syncopated breakdowns. All songs are carried by the frankly outrageous low note that seems to have been played on guitar strings as thick as telephone cables. However, while there are a lot of breakdowns, chugging rhythms, tempo changes and poly-rhythms the songwriting is straight on point most of the time.

Singer Loic is doing a great job, belting out the vocals in brutal fashion. He is switching between deep growls, some screaming parts and a few subtle squeals. His voice is perfectly suited to the job and he easily leads the line. His delivery is strong and leaves nothing to be desired. The production is pretty modern, as one would expect when switching on such an album.

It may be that listeners to this album fall into two broad schools – those who prefer the more old-school, heads down death metal pummeling, and those who more appreciate the modern experimentations, but those two strands are fairly equally represented here, so neither group should feel especially short changed. Certainly, if you are looking for breath-taking melody or contrast, you’re not going to find them here. In case you are on the search for a slab of hefty riffs to get your head banging to the groove you should give this one a look.