As promised, fanatical fiends of the Forbidden…behold the second installment of the Abyss Records feature, examining the latest, greatest releases from the underground label! The records showcased this time around, are hot off the presses or represent what Abyss has in store for the remainder of 2012.
With Composition of Flesh, Swedish death metal miscreants, Corrosive Carcass, have conjured up a vile offering of blood-and-guts death metal. Yep, this is the soundtrack to an amateur autopsy via rusty hacksaw. Seemingly inspired by the likes of Entombed and the sludgy riffs of Domination-era Morbid Angel, this beast starts off solid with the likes of “Butchershop”, “Self Mutilation”, and “Necrotizing Fasciitis” blasting distorted riffing and a vocal approach similar to what it must sound like when someone chokes on a whole human heart. Meanwhile, another definite highlight, “Dawning Death” rages to the front lines with grinding ferocity and takes no prisoners. Though a bit of an airy echo effect is noticeable on occasion, and the drums sometimes become buried under all the madness, Composition of Flesh is sure to satisfy fans of the old school way of doing things!
Hailing from Pisa, Italy, the death squad known as Humangled return with their latest assault in the form of the four-track EP, Odd Ethics. Now operating as a five-piece, the band has once again evoked that same quirky spirit found on their 2010 debut full-length, Fractal. For further proof, one needs only to witness the opening track, “Needles of the Blind.” Much like on the band’s first release, the EP bears clear inspiration from death metal’s undeniable greats like Carcass and Death, while injecting elements of doom and thrash as needed for extra flavor, maintaining great production throughout. “Skinned, to Feel All” and “Smells Acrid” are the definite high point on Odd Ethics. Fans of 1990’s Swedish death and the band’s previous effort would be wrong to pass this up!
Karlstad, Sweden is the birthplace of gore-drenched death metal horde, Fetus Stench. The band’s latest effort, Stillbirth, offers up a steaming helping of grave-crushing rage that could possibly best be described as the mutant spawn of Cannibal Corpse and At The Gates. Opening number, “Meat Grinder Flesh Obliteration” is a perfect introduction of this monstrosity, featuring lyrics that whisk me away to the first time I heard the Tomb of the Mutilated. The opening riff of “Severe Suffering” has the same effect. “Bashed, Defaced, and Disfigured” (not to be confused with “Stripped, Raped, and Strangled”) is another must-hear ditty on this one, if not for the carpet-bombing percussion alone. Closing number, “By Butchery Divorced” offers the slowest material found on Stillbirth, only to erupt alternately into the previously-displayed carnage that Fetus Stench is clearly well-versed in executing. While not a huge fan of the band’s chosen moniker, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t totally dig this record.
Straight from the U.S. death metal capital, Florida’s own death squad, Southwicked, have just unleashed their debut full-length, Death’s Crown. Featuring Allen West (ex-Six Feet Under, ex-Obituary), Southwicked felt it was necessary to start this record off with a sample from Wes Craven’s 80’s horror flick, Shocker, which instantly won them points in my book. What follows is the appropriate kind of chaos, and it’s too damn bad this band missed the proverbial boat on possibly being included in the previously-mentioned film’s soundtrack. Those hungry for classic (i.e. Cause of Death and End Complete) Obituary should be satisfied with what they find here. Sludgy riffs and groove are in massive abundance throughout Death’s Crown, as are vocalist Sven Poets’ ravenous Chris Barnes-esque growls (which set Southwicked apart from West’s previous projects noticeably). Cleanly produced and solidly-structured, the record features joints like “Killing Spree”, “Phantom Prince”, and “Green River Killing Fields”, making this record a real killer! No more Mr. Nice Guy, indeed!
Clawing their way through the soil of Tampere, Finland, the ghoul patrol known as Rocking Corpses have returned from the grave to slay us all with a fatal dose of Rock n’ Rott. You want horror? You wanna party? You want death metal with a worm-ridden spoonful of beer-chugging rock n’ roll influence? Look no further! Looking at the cover of this record, with the band’s name on my mind, this is admittedly not what I expected…and it’s a good thing, damn it. The record’s first legitimate number, “Up From the Grave” immediately showcases the band’s mixture of clean, bluesy vocals and guttural death metal growls and the song is definitely a highlight, as is “For Better for Worse.” The thing is, sometimes it works…sometimes, not so much. But, when this band is on spot, they’re on fucking spot. For instance, “Take a Whiskey” makes the odd vocal approach work really well. “925” takes a noticeable turn, with minimal death metal approach in the vocals, and an early ‘90’s alternative sound. By the time “In the Dead of Night” kicks in, it becomes aware that Rocking Corpses return to their most effective form, even though the vocals remind me of the “Danzig” vocals on that “Hips Don’t Lie” mash-up. Sex, Drugs, Rock n’ Rott, regardless!