Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Waking The Cadaver - Perverse Recollections Of A Necromangler

Best feature: it makes you appreciate all the great music in the world a lot more

Worst feature: that this exists as well.

Today I’m breaking from my rule of only reviewing albums that I own, to touch upon an album that takes elements from brutal death metal and deathcore, and mashes them up beyond recognition into something that defies explanation. I own many albums I dislike – American Soldier, some Kittie album, et cetera – yet this album is not a part of my library, for unlike those benignly-bad albums, this CD actively sucks the musical integrity and artistic depth from all other albums in the vicinity. Meat Loaf would lose his voice; Hellhammer would break his sticks; Pavarotti would become skinny. This CD is a black hole of bad.

How about the vocals, which make Gene Adam look like – well – anyone else? These vocals are actually quite identical to the sounds that your ass makes once you’ve just expelled a mighty turd, but then you think to yourself, “No, you’re a big man, you can do better” and let rip a great spill that cleans you out for the afternoon, after which you use your free time and listen to albums that are presumably better than this. That sound of the second turd wave hitting the bowl adequately describes both the sound of the REEEing and gorping (or orting, whatever) that the vocalist (or, to be more accurate, verbal diarrheist) present here, as well as the sound that you, dear reader, will make upon hearing it.

On the subject of the vocals, the lyrics just suck. I get that deathcore is generally stupid-as-fuck, and oftentimes celebratory of this fact, but these odes to raping/dismembering women (always women, because misogyny is so fucking edgy n’ shit these days) and getting high just take it so laughably far over the top, mixing the standard BDM gore stuff with those “gangsta” sensibilities we all love so much into a formula that actually makes Grinded Nig look like a band that doesn’t deserve to have every copy of their CDs spontaneously shattered, in comparison (disclaimer: they do).

Cannibal Corpse does the whole gore thing well (even though twenty years later, even those DM giants are starting to see their lyrical shtick wearing thinner), and…okay, I can’t think of a single metal band who does the whole “gangsta” thing and makes me want to listen to them, so we’ll toss that part of the comparison. Bottom line, these lyrics are about as dignified as that time your friends found you passed out on old man Carruthers’ farm with your hand and forearm lodged firmly in a very distressed donkey’s ass.

Fuck, that means I have to describe the music at some point, which means actually taking another bite into this shit sandwich rather than running on cached memory from the last time I heard it. Okay, so I can give this record one thing: save the pointless “we get high aren’t we awesome” interlude, these tracks actually are organized in a way that convinces me the band put some kind of thought into arranging this music, but recall the shit-eating scenes from the movie Salo: you can put shit on a silver platter, but at the end of the day, it’s still – you guessed it.

This is mostly comprised of half-assed grooves which are disturbingly bland on the best of days, a bassist whose musical vision seems limited to standing near the rest of the band at photoshoots, and head-shakingly forgettable drumwork, interspersed by the aforementioned microphone-rapist and, of course, a platter of breakdowns. I plea of you, what the hell am I supposed to say about these…things that hasn’t already been beaten to death, and then beaten into dust? They lack the conviction of a good Suffocation breakdown, they seem tailored purely so that “tuff” kids can punch that mean ol’ floor during shows, and they’re just slightly more relevant than Emmure’s.

Now, about these breakdowns – in fact, this goes for the whole “center your music around the breakdowns” fad – I’ll grant that it seems to excite the kids, and good for them, even if the metal community may stare down their noses at them for getting all worked up over these things. But once the lights are up and when the crowds are gone (this Savatage reference is too good for this review), what musical merit do they have? Truly good music will stand up on its own without the exuberance of a live context to prop it up. Without that extra bit of inherent dignity, you’re just left with these bafflingly bland, monotonous moments that serve no point.

In listening to a record like this, the average death metal fan may be inclined to wait for the ‘punch’: the point during many extreme albums where the band ‘cranks it to 11’, as it were, and brings out those killer riffs like it’s 1990, where you don’t even care about any potential musical faults in the section because it’s so exciting. This doesn’t happen here. There’s nothing on this record that even remotely approaches excitement.

So a zero percent for redefining ass. I’m sure there’s far worse music out there in the underground of the “brutal gore sick women-hating” genre (a fellow MA reviewer put it brilliantly when he said that none of these adjectives that these bands often use to describe themselves even approach a synonym for making worthwhile music), but the fact that these boys have become somewhat infamous in the scene lately for being horrible caught my attention.

Recommended tracks: The ones where you switch out this CD for a Dismember album before hitting Play.
Final thoughts: is there any room left in that New Mexico landfill where they dumped all those E.T. cartridges?

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