Brutal Death Metal

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Brutal death metal emphasizes brutality in music and lyrics. The guitar distortion often has a lot of bottom, and the players make use of pinched harmonics, heavy riffage and very fast palm-muted picking, while the drumming typically incorporates blastbeats and fast double bass drum work. In terms of composition and performance, brutal death metal is often complex and technical, as one tune typically contains several, often difficult-to-perform, sections. The vocals typically consist of low pitch growls, sometimes combined with screams and shrieks, and the lyrics typically deal with violence, mutilation, violation and murder, described in gory detail. Slam death metal is sometime considered a distinct subgenre of brutal death metal because of its focus on heavy breakdowns and moshpit-friendly midtempo brutal riffage at the expense of speed and intensity. Examples of brutal death metal bands are Suffocation, Cannibal Corpse, Hate Eternal, Severe Torture, Infernal Torment, Benighted, and early Illdisposed.

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SUFFOCATION ...Of The Dark Light Album Cover ...Of The Dark Light
SUFFOCATION
4.39 | 5 ratings
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FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE Agony Album Cover Agony
FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE
4.11 | 17 ratings
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NILE Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka Album Cover Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka
NILE
4.06 | 29 ratings
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DYING FETUS Descend Into Depravity Album Cover Descend Into Depravity
DYING FETUS
4.11 | 9 ratings
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DYING FETUS Reign Supreme Album Cover Reign Supreme
DYING FETUS
4.15 | 6 ratings
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HOUR OF PENANCE Sedition Album Cover Sedition
HOUR OF PENANCE
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SUFFOCATION Despise the Sun Album Cover Despise the Sun
SUFFOCATION
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DYING FETUS Destroy the Opposition Album Cover Destroy the Opposition
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SUFFOCATION Effigy of the Forgotten Album Cover Effigy of the Forgotten
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SUFFOCATION Souls to Deny Album Cover Souls to Deny
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SEVERE TORTURE Misanthropic Carnage Album Cover Misanthropic Carnage
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DYING FETUS Wrong One to Fuck With Album Cover Wrong One to Fuck With
DYING FETUS
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brutal death metal Music Reviews

EMBRYONIC DEVOURMENT Beheaded by Volition

EP · 2003 · Brutal Death Metal
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siLLy puPPy
Following in the footsteps of brutal death metal bands such as Suffocation and Malignancy, the Willits, CA based EMBRYONIC DEVOURMENT has been around for over a decade and released a few albums. In a crowded sector of the metal universe, this band has managed to play alongside some of the greats such as Carcass, Possessed, Cattle Decapitation, Disgorge and Atheist just to name a few.

The band formed in 2003 and released this debut EP titled BEHEADED BY VOLITION the same year. It consists of five tracks and only runs for almost 17 minutes but packs an intense labyrinthine death metal journey in that short time. While much of brutal death metal can sound rather similar, it’s important to listen carefully for how the music was constructed and EMBRYONIC DEVOURMENT despite firing on full speed do craft some interesting idiosyncrasies.

This death metal is brutal for sure but it also has traces of grindcore as well as slight elements of black metal. Despite incessant speed that implements balls to the wall guitar riffage, bass punishment, blastbeat drumming and the expected guttural death growls, the music is surprisingly melodic underneath the chaotic din although far too extreme for those not accustomed to the most extreme death metal sounds.

While the title track may sound slightly cliche as if you haven’t heard this before the saving grace of this EP is that the tracks do distinguish themselves from each other which isn’t always the case in brutal death metal. There are vocal tradeoffs of deep guttural growls and higher register shrieks and also some Morbid Angel styled old school death metal techniques in “Demon In The Sea” which display a marching riff delivery as well as those signature squealing solos.

Overall, this isn’t the most original death metal album even within the band’s own discography but a decent debut that’s a pleasure to bang my head to. Tight instrumental interplay that checks off all the death metal traits and delivers an extra dosage of aggressive fury. To top it off the production is really good unlike some of the muddier examples of the past. It’s clear yet not over-polished as to diminish the brutal rawness. While not as technically adept as bands like Suffocation, this isn’t a bad listen at all.

KRAANIUM Slamchosis

Album · 2018 · Brutal Death Metal
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Kev Rowland
Any album which starts with Cameron Britton (as Edmund Temper in the superb series ‘Mindhunter’) saying “it’s not easy butchering people, it’s hard work”, just has to be interesting and that is certainly the case here. That isn’t the only lift from that series, as various quotes make their way into the album, and it shows just how intense this is when these are the times when it lightens up a little. This is brutal death metal, their fifth album, and it is a full-on metallic onslaught from the first note to the very last. It grooves, it moves, and it hits the brain like a runaway express train. They do slow it down at times, and let the drums move to the centre while the guitarists have a rest, but all this is just a deliberate ploy so that when they come back it feels even more brutal than it was before.

It is a piledriver of an album, everyone in perfect sync to create riffs incredibly intense, and then over the top is singer Jack Papp Fahlberg Christensen, who is an incredible find. This is his first album with the band, taking over from founder Martin Funderdud who sadly took his own life in 2017, but Martin’s guitarist brother Mats is still there, driving the band onto new heights. I haven’t heard much from the band prior to this album, but this is one of the best examples of the genre I have come across in quite some time. If ever there was an album to lose the dandruff to then this must be it. Over the top in every area, the use of words from ‘Mindhunter’ adds additional polish and shows their thought processes at play. One of the songs, “Gratification Through Annihilation”, even takes its title from one of the lines. The line at the beginning of “Larva Infested Cum Sluts” (okay, so maybe it’s not all that polished – reminds me a little of Spinal Tap), is one of my favourites of the whole series, and I can still “see” the scene quite clearly.

This is quite some beast, and now it is out of its cage you can’t say you haven’t been warned. Intense, disturbing, superb.

SUFFOCATION Reincremated

Demo · 1990 · Brutal Death Metal
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UMUR
"Reincremated" is a demo cassette tape release by US, New York based death metal act Suffocation. The demo was self-released in July 1990. Suffocation were formed in 1988 and "Reincremated" is their first release. It was also their only demo release, as they were soon discovered and signed to Relapse Records for the release of the "Human Waste (1991)" EP.

"Reincremated" features 3 tracks and a full playing time of 8:37 minutes. "Human Waste" was included on the "Human Waste (1991)" EP in the exact same version, and both "Involuntary Slaughter" and "Reincremation" were featured in re-recorded versions on Suffocation´s debut full-length studio album "Effigy of the Forgotten (1991)".

The recording quality is very raw and noisy, but it´s still audible what´s going on, and there is a unique brutal charm to it, that´s reserved for death metal demos from that time period. While the sound production is unpolished and raw to say the least, it´s still obvious how well playing Suffocation were even this early on in their career. The level of brutality is also really high considering when this was released. At the time Probably only rivaled by the likes of Cannibal Corpse and Immolation.

So while this certainly isn´t a professional recording and there are issues here and there as a consequence of that, it shows from the start that Suffocation knew exactly what they wanted and that they had the skills to do it. I´m not sure brutal technnical death metal was born with this release, but it´s arguably one of the earliest examples of the style. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is deserved.

NEOANDERTALS Neanderthals Were Master Butchers

Album · 2007 · Brutal Death Metal
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siLLy puPPy
One of the stranger finds in the death metal universe is the Estonian band NEOANDERTALS that formed in 2003 near the eastern village of Otepää by bassist / vocalist Rain Pohlak along with drummer Roland Seer. The next year they filled the lineup with guitarist Toomas Keermann joining the ranks but he would soon leave before any recording time took place. The duo decided that they would from then on perform a brutal style of death metal with absolutely no guitars whatsoever and thus created a sound that consists of only bass, percussion and vocals. The freedom from the dominant guitar sounds gives this an deep brutal hellish sound unlike any other death metal band i’ve personally experienced.

As it turned out, the sound suited the band’s thematic lyrical content quite well which focused around the world of the ancient neanderthals. Why the moniker is spelled as it is remains a mystery to me but after the duo got their feet wet on their demo “Neander Valley” they were ready for primetime and released this debut album NEANDERTHALS WERE MASTER BUTCHERS in 2007. This is supposed to be a concept album that focuses on the darker side of neanderthals that mixes anthropology with death metal fantasies. The stories capture the gloomier side of neanderthal behavior such as defleshing, burial rites, their butchering habits and the classics like decapitation and of course the rise of neo-neanderthal zombies!

Despite the concept it’s unlikely you’ll understand a fucking thing because this is death metal, baby! And staying true to the genre, the guttural growls are incomprehensible however what is unusual about this band is that this barbaric experimentalism is actually quite suited for a primeval frolic throughout the bass driven sonosphere. What NEONDERTALS deliver is an incessant pummelation of technical death metal drumming and extraordinarily brutal bass antics, the likes of which give my fingers blisters just listening to this stuff. While the avant-groove is laced in technical wizardry, there are moments when a groove metal chill out in comparison is allowed to calm things down. After listening to this for a while it also seems that the vocals really start to sound like a caveman making metal music if such a thing could happen.

The album is appropriately short for a brutal death metal album just shy of the thirty minute run and like most other guitar oriented bands existing in this niche, this one is laced with fury and fire and mostly sounds the same from one track to the next at least to the untrained ears. While the timbres and tones are almost exclusively in the lower reaches of the bass, there are a few moments when Rain delivers some bass solos on the highest registers possible which offers some interesting contrast. The drums are just on fire the whole time. This really does sound like chaotic caveman music! This unique guitarless death metal is interesting in a couple of ways. On the positive side, it really allows the bass and drums to thrive in a way not possible with a guitar but on the flip side don’t offer up as much variety as the guitar can muster up. Still though, not a bad slog through the frenetosphere and definitely unique sounding.

SUFFOCATION Surgery of Impalement

Single · 2004 · Brutal Death Metal
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UMUR
"Surgery of Impalement" is a sampler single by US, New York based death metal act Suffocation. The single was released through Relapse Records in April 2004. "Surgery of Impalement" features two tracks from the "Souls to Deny (2004)" album and one track from the "Despise the Sun (1998)" EP.

Sampler singles are usually used by labels as a promotional tool to promote a forthcoming full-length studio album (typically send to radio stations, webzines, and magazines for reviews). In this case "Souls to Deny (2004)", which was Suffocation´s first full-length studio album in 9 years. The last being "Pierced From Within" from 1995. The long time between albums and a band split-up between 1998 - 2002 were probably contributing factors to why the label felt a promo sampler was necessary.

As a promo "Surgery of Impalement" is slightly odd because of the inclusion of "Funeral Inception" from "Despise the Sun (1998)". There´s no logical reason for including a track from 1998 to promote a 2004 album release, other then the fact that it´s a brilliant death metal track done the brutal and technically well played Suffocation way. But that´s also true for the two tracks from "Souls to Deny (2004)". The different sound productions are slightly distracting, but it´s not a major issue as both the track from "Despise the Sun (1998)" and the tracks from "Souls to Deny (2004)" are very well produced.

So upon conclusion "Surgery of Impalement" is a nice little release by Suffocation, but as it doesn´t include anything that hasn´t been featured on other more readily available releases, the value is still a bit limited. The quality of the music, the high level performances, and powerful sound productions are still worth something though, and therefore a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

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