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Visceral Mass > Visceral Mass > 2020, Digital, Independent > Reviews > JetMeestard
Visceral Mass - Visceral Mass

Guts, Intestines, and Innards. - 70%

JetMeestard, September 21st, 2020
Written based on this version: 2020, Digital, Independent

California death metal duo Visceral Mass released their debut EP a few months ago on the Maggot Stomp label, and for better or worse depending on what your tastes are, it's exactly what you'd expect from that label. Downtuned and slightly muddy guitars primarily playing heavy mid-paced riffs with some gurgled vocals on top and a production value that makes the listener feel like they've been wading through a sewer primarily full of human remains in various stages of decay.

Opening track "Human Stew" sets the tone immediately for the next 14 minutes, starting off with a slow riff that is underpinned by the filthy bass that reinforces the disgusting atmosphere of this EP, and coupled with a massive breakdown around the 50 second mark along with some faster tremolo passages makes for one of the better tracks on the EP.

The other tracks follow suit utilising primarily the same style of riffing, without too many differences barring a few faster riffs that are used to break the monotony of constantly hearing heavy chugs and some breakdowns, with the best of the bunch being the third track "Verses of Perversion", which opens with a nice doomy riff and has a very interesting (by the standards of this EP anyway) section around the 3 minute mark.

The production on this release is quite good, considering how it's a debut from a virtually unknown band, with thick guitars, a dirty bass supporting the riffs and very punchy drums, with all of them being decently mixed and not really fighting to be heard.

Lyrically the album is typical death metal fare, bringing to mind primarily old Cannibal Corpse, with the band musing over death, zombies and sexual depravity involving a lot of viscera, nothing out of the ordinary for anyone who has listened to more than 1 album in this genre.

Now, there isn't anything inherently bad with this release, since it's a short but sweet serving of caveman death metal, but to anyone who isn't already familiar with this label's releases I feel obligated to make a point out of the fact that there are no solos or any complexity to speak of, so if you're someone who is expecting any sort of flashy or technical playing you'd do well to stay away from this release. Personally, I am for the most part a fan of this style, but its simplistic nature doesn't lend itself to multiple replays, and the fact that so many releases of this type of death metal have come out in the past few years has burnt me out on this style, which became more and more apparent the more I listened to this EP before writing this review. Also I would like to mention about how hilariously cheesy the vocal opening to "Flesh Eating Deceased" is with its use of zombie noises from Call of Duty, which coupled with the fact that said opening takes roughly half of the track's runtime makes for the weakest track of the EP.

All in all, it's yet another Maggot Stomp release, which will probably get lost among the sheer wealth of EPs and albums they've put out over the course of the past two years, but will definitely satisfy any fans of simple and heavy death metal.

Highlights: Human Stew, Verses of Perversion