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Gracious that Was Really Cold - 95%

Cat III, December 10th, 2019

Eizo Asakura and Ryo Himeno, the guitarists of Viscera Infest, are big, burly men, but Yuya Yakushiji, the scrawny drummer who performs wearing hot pants and appears in the album sleeve mugging in front of a table of anime figures, is the most imposing member of the band. Verrucous Carcinoma was Yakushiji's first recording with the band and goddamn what a first impression. I've praised other drummers for not just playing blast-beats, so it's only fair that I give due to one who only blasts. In concert he's a flurry of limbs appearing like an ancient being: pure speed manifest into physical form. On record, he's an unstoppable assailant; an omnidirectional machine gun with unlimited ammunition. No exaggeration. Scientifically speaking the man should be bursting into flames. What could be merely an athletic feat is heightened to an artistic one by the dexterity with which he does it. Rhythms and tempos are switched on a hair trigger, and Yakushiji even finds space for fills which make for tender respites from the mayhem.

Viscera Infest take an odd route, substituting bass for a second guitar. Instead of the normal twin guitar theatrics, Asakura and Himeno's playing is a scalding whirlwind of lightning picking matching the violence of the drumming. There's finesse in there too. Dive bombs and pinch harmonics are favorite techniques, popping up with regularity. The former plays heavily in the solo of “Neurofibromatosis (Von Reck Linghausen Syndrome) Type1”. Closing track “Naegleria Fowleri Micronema Deletrix Granulomatous Amebic Encepalitis Pedicolosis” contains a more traditional solo, played slowly and laced with dread. Though violence, mindless and unceasing, defines the band's music, touches of atmosphere like this spring up throughout. A number of riffs draw from death and doom metal (albeit not of the crawling variety). That last song ends with forlorn riffs and black metal rasps, and for once the impression is given that he's attempting to form words. For good measure they throw in a chug or two and something of a breakdown in the title track.

Goregrind reigns supreme in influence. Just take a look at the cover (versions of the photo floating around 4chan, Reddit, etc. are higher quality but I have my doubts about its authenticity). Then there's the polysyllabic pseudo-medical titles. Samples feature heavily as well, taking up more runtime than I'd realized before taking notes. The selections eschew anything obvious. Religious chants bookend the record while those between seem to come from TV/film, though I can't place them on account of being in a foreign language (my best guess is all are Japanese except one that's Spanish). Crying children, a crazy man singing, and a man berating a woman are creepy no matter the language barrier; I like how that last one plays during the music. Note that Viscera Infest grinds gore with maximal brutality, taking their cues from the best of the Disgorges: Mexican Disgorge. “No effect on vomit” proclaims the CD, highlighting one divergence from goregrind protocol. Pitches remain unshifted. Neither does the mix prioritize the vocals, putting the band at odds with most music. Yet Asakura's low grunts and Himeno's high growls cut with animal ferocity. I don't know how I survived Verrucous Carcinoma. It will deafen you, it will deflorate your brain, it will devour you then pick shreds of your flesh from its teeth. I can't recommend it enough.