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Syphilic > Erotishock Therapy > Reviews
Syphilic - Erotishock Therapy

there's a lot of songs about incest - 74%

Noktorn, February 5th, 2011

Syphilic is definitely one of the most professional one-man brutal death bands out there, given the circumstances surrounding its releases. Syphilic releases everything independently- all aspects of it are self-funded by sole member Brian Forgue, and despite this, the presentation and quality of the music within is as solid and professional as any larger underground label. On top of this, Forgue appears to be a pretty smart businessman- despite the self-released nature of all his records, Syphilic CDs can be found in nearly any large underground death metal distro. Good work, Forgue. I like seeing intelligent people succeed in the scene.

I think that Forgue is a big fan of Insidious Decrepancy; Syphilic sounds a great deal like that other one-man project, albeit streamlined and not as overtly technical as that endeavor. Still, the similarities are palpable: the rather obviously fake and mechanical drum machine, the similarly mechanical guitar work that concentrates of keening, wild tremolo riffs, and the occasional dips into slam, though Syphilic never really does a full-fledged slam track. Yes, Syphilic occupies that uncomfortable middle space of brutal death metal: technical without being tech death, having slams without being a slam band, and blasting and gurgling regularly without going to goregrind territory. Making music like this is a dicey move; it's a style without an apparent scene or community around it, and it's easy for brutal death bands like this to get lost in the shuffle.

Syphilic performs admirably, though, maintaining your attention throughout the album without sacrificing its style-straddling credentials. The tracks on 'Erotishock Therapy' tend to alternate between fast, ripping tremolo sections, and cluttered, stop-starting rhythmic play packed with chunky, accelerating and suddenly breaking riffs. The spastic drum programming echoes this, with long, linear beats dotted with tom fills forming the bulk of the more midpaced material on this record. Forgue's vocals are particularly gurgly and incomprehensible- I'd suggest they're mostly inhaled and have more in common with Wormed's guttural grumblings than anything from more 'regular' death metal. While I think some of the tracks' clustered midpaced passages do go on a bit too long, overall this is very solidly constructed if not the most immediately gripping thing I've ever heard.

About the only real complaint I have would be the production, which is clear but a bit too claustrophobic for its own good. The bass drums are thin and the synthesized cymbal and tom sounds get a bit grating- in addition to this, the vocals might be a touch too loud in the mix. A more even EQing of everything would probably go far to rectifying these issues (as it does on the following releases), but on this record it just lacks some of the immediacy and heaviness I like in this sort of release.

That being said, Syphilic's debut is a remarkably strong one from such an independent artist. 'Erotishock Therapy' would be eclipsed by the following two releases, but it's still a pretty good, repeatedly listenable album from on of the last real cowboys of the death metal scene.

Brutality therapy - 98%

beatsfromhell, December 7th, 2008

Where do I even begin with this album, it’s just one of those records that is so damn good. When I first heard Syphilic’s music I was honestly slightly repulsed, but it quickly grew on me. This album is a fantastic example of brutal music. Musically it’s very fast and I’m still unsure how the vocals are done. For the most part the vocals sound like inhales, and not the Waking the Cadaver bullshit kind. Towards the end of “Fuck Protest” the song takes a very interesting turn and just before it ends you hear Brian Forgue’s vocals, the only way I can define it is a growling inhale.

If you’re a fan of stand up comedy you’ll probably recognize Lewis Black’s voice at the very beginning of the album and then finishing his joke at the very end of the album. If you’re an internet junkie (which you most likely are if you’re reading this) you should recognize the randomly placed tourettes guy samples through out the album. At the beginning of “BTK” you hear a ridiculous clip from the movie “Death to Smoochy”. And for the last track on the album there’s a sample from the movie “Bad Santa” at the beginning and again later on in the track. The album ends with Lewis Black finishing his joke from the beginning of the album.

In an interview I read with Brian Forgue he said that he “sucked pussy at guitar (and not the good kind).” Honestly I think the riffs are awesome, a great example would be the song “Prog” or “Green Seed”. The riffs on this album seem to have a groove to them. They’re very dark and evil sounding like death metal riffs should be but they do carry a groove with them. Definitely a death metal groove though, like the groovier parts found in Mortician’s music. There are also two guest solos (the only solos). One of them is on the song “Iceman”, which is performed by Russ Crossman from the band Mutilated. The other solo is found in the song “Nursing Home Kneebash”, and is performed by Josh Duran.

A drum machine was used for the album but it was well used and it suites the music well. I’m a drummer and I don’t think these drum tracks are impossible to perform, it would take an insanely skilled drummer to perform them though, such as Marco Pitruzella or someone of that sort. This is a death metal record so of course there are a lot of blast beats. But the drums do follow the grooves of the guitars that I mentioned earlier. Most of the groovy parts involve a lot double bass and splash and crash cymbals that make it sound more intense. But for most of the record its constant blast beats.

It’s a really awesome record, a very well assembled full-length debut. If you’re a fan of brutal death metal then get this album right away. Its amazingly brutal and the samples make it insanely funny. Easily one of the best albums I’ve ever heard.