THE COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINERS — Forensic Fugues and Medicolegal Medleys (review)

THE COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINERS — Forensic Fugues and Medicolegal Medleys album cover Album · 2002 · Goregrind Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
siLLy puPPy
Goregrind is that not so cuddly mix of grindcore and death metal but more often than not it sounds a lot more like the former with only traces of the latter but what really sets this demonically possessed noisefest from the rest of the extreme metal pack is its utter obsession with all things putridly disgusting! Whether it be bizarre mutilations, diseased decaying corpses with maggot colonies or just good old fashioned forensic pathology, goregrind is the place to run to when melodic death metal has just become too tame for its own good.

This little prickly subgenre got its start in the 80s with Carcass and its shocking slap in the face debut “Reek Of Putrefaction” which when compared to the hairspray friendly metal bands that were in heavy rotation on MTV must’ve been quite disturbing indeed. Carcass followed up with the equally demented “Symphonies Of SIckness” but then sorta got tired of the whole shtick and moved on to a more technically infused variation of death metal. The band itself grew tired of it but many fans wanted more and the style continued on with an ever growing legion of noisemakers squealing out lyrics recited from an anatomy textbook.

One of the downfalls of this style of music is that it all starts sounding the same unless any given artist can find some way to stand out. Well that where THE COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINERS comes into the picture. Formed in Scotts Valley, CA just north of Santa Cruz, this trio that has consisted of Dr. Jack Putnam, MD (drums, vocals), Dr. Morton Fairbanks, MD (vocals, guitar, bass) and Dr. Guy Radcliffe (bass, vocals) started as a mere goregrind era Carcass cover band but the most remarkable thing of all is that they claim to be legit medical doctors who were either fully licensed MDs or in the medical school final stages. Of course they soon got bored with just covers and decided to continue on where early Carcass left off. After an early lineup with an EP sampler, this band released its debut FORENSIC FUGUES AND MEDICOLEGAL MEDLEYS in 2002.

Admittedly derivative and existing as a fictitious band that continued what Carcass may have done after “Symphonies Of SIckness,” THE COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINERS does indeed sound exactly like 80s Carcass with those wickedly distorted grind riffs, squealed and snorted vocals and all the best goregrind subject matter as evidenced in tracks like “NH2(CH2)4NH2 & C5H14N2 (Putrescine & Cadaverine)” and "Algor Mortis: The Linear Rate of Cadaveric Cooling.” In fact this sounds so authentic it makes you wonder if this was actually Carcass releasing material under a different band name and of course there has been much speculation about the authenticity of the whole MD shtick given the band’s website was found out to be owned by a member of Exhumed.

Nevertheless the band claims it’s the real deal often posing for photo ops even if they have never played live. The gray-haired dude is the bassist who was 63 years old when he did an interview on MTV about the whole thing. So whether or not this is the biggest hoax in grindcore history or the final infiltration of the metal universe into the most unlikely of establishments remains to be seen but one thing is for sure and that is if you just have never gotten over Carcass moving on to tech death and you really, really wanted more of what they had to offer with their timeless classics of the 80s then you really, really must hear what THE COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINERS have amputated from the past. No new albums since 2007 so that means this band only released two actual albums. Perhaps they saw the limitations as well.
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Vim Fuego wrote:
4 months ago
Not forensics, but medical stuff. Anything from dizzy spells to dick rash. ;-) I deal with a lot of similar terminology, except it deals with the living, not the dead.
siLLy puPPy wrote:
4 months ago
You write about forensics? Whoah. Start your own grindcore band!

Vim Fuego wrote:
4 months ago
Love this band. They write songs about the shit I write about all day.

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