Amidst the sea of breakdowns, pig squeals, and all things core, comes a band that’s traditional and non-conforming. Bodyfarm, named from the institutions that examine and study the deceased and decomposition of dead flesh, is a straight up no BS death metal project with pure energy and substance. Along the same lines as Vader, Vomitory, or Cannibal Corpse in that their sound is stripped-away aggressive death metal. No gimmicks so to speak, just the music free from the pressures of mediocre innovations and the rising deathcore movement. I’m pleased to say these guys might have accidentally stumbled upon something refreshing.
Just the intro entitled “Into Battle”, is particularly suspenseful and gripping, a perfect opener and accent to their sound. It sets the pace and rolls right into the title track “Bodyfarm.” A primal and aggressive track that progresses seamlessly, it keeps you interested and hanging until the abrupt ending. It’s followed by “Final Redemption” a slower paced, grimy track that’s reminiscent of some memorable heavy death anthems, Bloodbath’s Eaten comes to mind.
Then we are brought to “Heartraped”, a sub par love track. This is where I meet a bit of confusion. The EP seams to lose a bit of momentum here as they go for a more streamlined formula with a bit of thrash. Also the lyrical content is a bit weak and disappointing. With a title like “Heartraped”, you can expect the lyrics to wonder into mainstream mushiness and it does. Other than that the track is well structured and the vocals are just as heavy so it may be just me. The final track on this self titled debut is “(Slaves of War).” My personal favorite as it is just as brutal as the rest while showing some versatility. It starts out and you swear you’re listening to Amon Amarth, then Thomas Wouters’s gutturals come in and remind you this is Bodyfarm. His vocals are medium range death growls similar to those of Stephen Kummerer (Obscura) or Corpsegrinder (Cannibal Corpse), which are more traditional and fit the style perfectly. The vocals and the bass stand out in my head as the more prominent elements.
Their vocals and sound on this album constantly remind me of another, the 2009 album (Carnage Euphoria) by Vomitory. They no doubt must have been influenced by these guys, but elaborated and evolved into their own entity. I personally like Thomas’ vocals better than Erik Rundkvist’s (Vomitory). Not to give them a hard time or anything, I just think Erik’s vocals are a bit more guttural and he shows a bit more versatility. He adds extra stuff in here and there that really make the track more enjoyable, like in the beginning of their EP closer “Slaves of War”.
Although they had non-refreshing intentions, the way they choose not to conform to any trend and belt out uncompromising traditional death metal should satisfy and attract a ton of plain old fashioned death metal fans. Not to mention top tier vocal talent that would please any brutal death head. Overall unique and relentless this is an EP that keeps you knee deep in each track. If you like un-innovative traditional death metal like Cannibal Corpse and Bloodbath, then you should definitely check out Bodyfarm. Can’t wait to see what they have in store for us in the near future.