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Syphilic > In the Pen > Reviews
Syphilic - In the Pen

Insane man does insane things - 69%

CarcassBOMB, October 8th, 2018

The synergy between brutal death metal and crime or law hasn’t been deeply explored based on what I’ve heard. It has the opening one might expect from a rap record in the 90's with a skit involving someone shooting people in public after threatening suicide. So, it sets the tone. It really makes you wonder what’s going through Brian Forgue’s fucking head considering he’s the only member behind every aspect of this record. He’s more prolific than many regular bands and has a sound that beats so many unsigned and amateur bands. There’s just something about this isolated approach that makes me concerned for his mental health.

Yeah, one guy spends a bunch of time putting together brutal death metal albums with a drum machine and disturbing album art – disturbing even by today’s standards. The art style is more clear and offensive than your typical gore-soaked Cannibal Corpse CD. Brian straight up gets the genre, both musically and aesthetically. If you aren’t familiar with brutal death metal, then it’s basically a genre where every track is a nonstop super-fast series of punches to the dick and balls. It never slows down or adds melody. It’s brutal.

Obviously, there are some problems with the work but not enough to place it below most of the genre. At the end of the day it hits the same notes and structures – it’ll fulfill the same function on a basic level moshing level. The weakest spot is of course the drumming despite being done by a human being sound too mechanical at times and can’t achieve a lot of beats. Since drums have such a strong hand in the beat it does somewhat taint the pace of the album in general, it feels restricted at times.

The production of the recording is good, I’m imagining he did have help with this aspect of the album because it would just be too much work to produce so much and have quality control. Perhaps from his label. That’s an interesting thought, an individual being signed to a label while thousands of bands spam their EP to publications and office buildings. There are quite a few audio samples throughout, but they contribute to an overall theme and circumstances considered I don’t blame him for utilizing them. These audio samples I speak of are all along the lines of the original one, dealing in the subject manner of suicide, public shootings and murder.

The vocals are the highlight. There’s a good variety of style in the vocal delivery that can get pretty bloody low – to the point where it’s no longer discernible as a human noise. It’s that garbage disposal in your sink sound more than cookie monster. The guitar work isn’t complex, and the licks don’t stray far from the set path for the genre, but the composition does sound like music. He has done it right. No matter what scores he gets for his work, he should be proud considering how many full band efforts are given equal scores and worse.

This album should inspire a lot of people who can’t get a band together.

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