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Viscera Infest > Sarcoidosis > Reviews > Cat III
Viscera Infest - Sarcoidosis

Why Limit Sesame Street References to Cookie Monster? - 85%

Cat III, June 5th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2007, CD, Obliteration Records (Limited edition)

My first exposure to Viscera Infest’s debut album, Sarcoidosis, was an upload on YouTube. Though the video wasn’t obviously terrible quality, it lacked something, a certain power to do the music justice. Now that I own the CD and can listen to a decent rip, the quality of the music hits way harder than first thought. There are more similarities than differences between this album and its follow-up, Verrucous Carcinoma, but a main difference is the debut's emphasis on the brutal side of the band's BDM/goregrind sound, so any loss of heaviness was a detriment.

While we're at it, might as well explain the other differences. This was prior to the band hiring blast-master Yuya Yakushiji. Kyohei Yoshiga is no slouch. No one would call him slow, with double being his bread and bass his butter, and the tons of blasting, but he is slower than his successor, and more likely to play mid-paced stuff and stuff that falls short of warping space and time. He's also equipped with a snare that sounds like he's making Oscar the Grouch's life a living hell. His style fits this album's composition with its frequent grooves and occasional breakdowns. Composition may not be the proper word, as the band writes songs with no regard for sense or order, stitching parts together into a crime against God. The production lends more definition to Eizo Asakura and Ryo Himeno's guitar work. Not to say it's more complex. They rarely employ the pinch harmonics and divebombs so prevalent on Verrucous Carcinoma, and I don't think there's one solo. It's not all basic, though. “Hormona Adrenocorticotropico”, “Enfermedad Jacobo Creufzfeldt” and “Sarcoma!!! Sarcoma!!! Sarcoma!!!”, the first, fifth and last songs respectively, feature moments where the caveman brutality gives way to slow ominous leads, recalling the heyday of death metal without modifiers.

Vocals are higher in the mix, and, like the guitars, are more audible, which does nothing to make them understandable. As usual, Asakura's grunts constitute the majority of it. Himeno again takes on the highs, but sounds more varied. In the silence after the final song he lets out a snort, and without guitars and drums burying it, we hear his go-to noise sounds an awful lot like the bleat of Beavis (or is it Butthead? I'm not up on my MTV lore). He also has a few pig squeals—if that raises red flags, don't worry, they're rare and brief. On “Mening Ovascular Heurosyphilis” he unleashes some squeaks. Unlike their next LP, every song includes a sample, and they're always tacked to the beginning. It seems they were recorded from millennia-old Betamax tapes considering how muddy the audio is and how much it peaks and echos. This time I could ID one of the samples: Lucio Fulci's Zombie which precedes “Enfermedad Jacobo Creufzfeldt”. The rest seem to be from horror films, except the choir boy singing before “Glomer Rulonephritis”.

In my review of Verrucous Carcinoma, I was skeptical about the authenticity of the cover photo. Another MA user messaged me, showing evidence it is a real picture of a suicide. Sarcoidosis raises no such doubts. The cover shows the same birth defect, cyclopia, pictured on the back of Gore Beyond Necropsy's Noise-A-Go Go!!! The sufferer is an infant, because those that even survive pregnancy don't live but for a few hours. Inside the booklet are more photos increasing the probability of a separation between you and your lunch. This album doesn’t reach the sickening heights of Viscera Infest’s sophomore effort. It, however, is similar enough that fans of that album should check it out, and its approach is different enough, it may scratch another itch, and scratch it without mercy. And at least for now you don’t have to pay astronomical prices to get an out-of-print copy.