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One of the first, one of the best - 96%

DeadFetus, September 24th, 2004

(Note: I am reviewing the Relapse re-release)

Repulsion is truly one of THE cult metal acts. Their name was known all over the tape trading underground as early as 1985 and despite their enormous influence and underground following, they couldn't get signed and officially release any material - that is, they couldn't until 1989 when Bill Steer and Jeff Walker of Carcass fame decided to put this amazingly awesome death/grind/thrash classic out on their Necrosis label. For 1989 this is still quite abrasive, raw and just fucking good, but the most mind bending fact about this album is that is was originally recorded in 1986, a full three years before it was released in any sort of meaningful capacity. This is THE original grindcore album, before Napalm Death, before Carcass, Brutal Truth, Entombed, or any other band touted by Earache's grind period. Not only are Repulsion the first grind band, but they are also the first band with over the top gore-laden lyrics. One can even argue that Repulsion were the first pure death metal band. While Death were basically thrash with harsher vocals, Repulsion incorporated much more of what we see in modern death metal: vicious blast beats, relentless speed, and a flurry of noise. Repulsion effectively set the ground for all death metal to follow. Hell, one need only look at the song titles to understand just how influential Repulsion were - "Splattered Cadaver," "Acid Bath," "Six Feet Under" - all band monikers lifted from this one Repulsion album.

But Horrified is more than just influence. It is an all out awesome record. It's raw, it's brutal, and it just fucking rocks. Drawing on a range of influences like Hellhammer, Slaughter, and Discharge, Repulsion infused elements of all these acts, threw in a lot of feedback and distortion and a lyrical bloodbath to create a legendary wall of noise that is still relevant today. If anyone witnessed them at this past Maryland Deathfest they can attest that the sheer intensity of their music has not faded with time. The best part of all this? Relapse has released this almost impossible to find classic on two discs. The first disc is Horrified in all its original raw glory, and the second disc is chock full of rarities, from their 1984 demo released when they were still called Genocide, all the way to some demos they recorded in 1991.

The second disc is the real treat in this deal; along with some wonderfully written liner notes, the rarities disc gives an aural history of the evolution of this cult group. The first three tracks from Genocide's rehearsal demo are entirely indecipherable and would put any wannabe "cult" black metal band to shame with their ghetto recording techniques. Even though it is just a massive wall of distortion one has to appreciate the sheer sonic intensity of it all. As the tracks progress the songwriting gets better, the demo production improves just enough to make the music understandable. We even get treated to a pair of live tracks from May of 1986, which sound absolutely amazing. All in all this re-release is extremely well done, as all the re-releases Relapse has been behind have been, and is a must for anyone who doesn't have the original Repulsion releases.

Originally Published @ (c) 2004