Dear readers, as you should already know (because I just told you a couple weeks ago!), two Innervenus artists have CDs coming out tomorrow (Tuesday, 12 February 2013)! One of those is the death metal + grind unit called Grisly Amputation, with their debut full-length Cannibalistic Tendencies.
Considering my professional relationship with the band, as the record label’s PR representative, it didn’t seem appropriate for me to write a review of their album, because it wouldn’t seem objective or unbiased. So I found a neutral outside reviewer who was willing to write about the album and then let me publish it for him. He was a frequent contributor to the “Sign Me To Roadrunner Records” website when I used to spend a lot of time there, and his reviews were always very thoughtful and detailed. Plus, as a musician in a death metal band himself, I’d be inclined to say he’s even more qualified to discuss this album than I am…
Grisly Amputation – Cannibalistic Tendencies
(12 February 2013, the Innervenus Music Collective)
reviewed by Oldmanin Exilum
Grisly Amputation is a 5-piece from Pittsburgh (USA), founded in 2010. Now I’ve got the honour to review their debut album which will be released in a few days.
Just had a quick look upon their information sheet: they tag their music as a mix of old-school death metal and grindcore. The lyrics seem to be inspired by horror visions, the song titles sound violent and brutal. I decided to jump over to the music right now in order to get a fresh and unprejudiced impression.
The opener “Woodshed Wet Dreams” illustrates the ‘message’ quite well: an impression of horror, a suffering voice – makes me think indeed of cannibalism. Really scary, maybe a bit too long up till the music really starts. The song is driven by a blast beat, the harmonic structure (cadencies) is destroyed by chromatic shifts. Guttural voice, fast drumming -– old-school. This goes as well for the sound, which could be a bit more powerful or mighty with the bass drum attacks clearer. But it
sounds natural, not triggered or robotized; recorded [just as it was] played, so the musicianship is on a very solid level. Yes, it´s energetic, fast, but it doesn’t stick to the ear. Well, quite normal for this genre when you listen for the first time.
The next song, “Scraping the Resin from Your Lungs” shows different aspects: powerful riffing, groovy, reminding [me] of Chuck Schuldiner. An interesting groove switch to a ternary beat in the middle -– nice, really enjoyed it.
“Liquefaction Necrosis” starts again in up-tempo, but it is a catchy phrase, followed by another ‘Schuldiner-ish’ chord progression, which is worked out rhythmically, always groovy. Great drumwork, but I still have the impression that it is covered [up] a bit in the mix. The guitar sound, on the other hand, is very clear and aggressive. Towards the end the song speeds up, a nice increase into madness.
The fourth track, “Implement of Rectitude” starts up with [a movie sample] (like the songs before, by the way, seems to be a characteristic of this album), this makes it easy to get the aggressive mood. And it comes: A clear but brutal riff, nicely harmonized at the end before it comes to a groove switch into a groovy 6/8 signature passage. The changing of grooves seems to be characteristic for the band -– as well as for the entire genre -– and they execute it very well until the song comes to a sudden end.
“Cannibalistic Tendencies”: another cinematic impression with a scream in vibrato form at its end -– nice overblend into a real old-school riff, chromatic, nothing really new, but stands the test and always welcome! This song is full of groove variations as well; the mood is well-illustrated. Again, a very sudden end.
The following track, “Birthed from Defecation” (funny title!) starts with a scene between sadness and madness, with a mighty backing sphere. Then again, pure brutality, which here is quickly replaced by a nice ‘singing’ atmospheric riff with a mid-tempo groove. The song is developed out of this element, which is varied in many forms, including a bass fill-in -– nice new element. Another short song with a sudden end.
“Hoarding Human Remains” starts without any cinematic introduction. Explosive, rapid fire riffing and drumming, but again with a clear melody, executed with the downtuned guitars -– atmospheric. The counterpart is groovy [and] chromatic again. The interlude is frantic and short, overblending into a mid-tempo driven variation of the main riff. The overall structure sounds very conclusive, the reoccurring of the frantic interlude element seems like the return of the main part, which comes
again in its varied forms -– up till another sudden end.
The final track has a placative name: “Chainsaw Swimming in Flesh.” The guitars sound like razorblades -– or a saw. Good illustration. Then another fine work of rhythmic variations. At its climax, a frantic blastbeat. The voice enters, and the band manages to increase it even more. The following passage is another switch between mid-tempo grooves and blastbeat elements. The interlude slows down extremely, which has a dramatic effect before the song -– and the album -– ends, abruptly, vomiting, funny … without any further dramatism -– which indeed [would not have been] necessary.
All in all: “Hmmm … another band like this, heard it many times before, sounds warm and natural, could be clearer in the bass/low midrange, but pretty solid” … those were my first thoughts. But, as you can read above, the more I listened, the more I got into the structures and the more I got used to the sound, the more I enjoyed it. Clear and mighty riff melodies, interesting rhythmic workouts, song structures are mostly variations of a few central elements -– very well built-up, with the result of a brutal illustration of a frightening mood.
No, this is nothing groundbreaking [or] new, but it is a serious album which every adorer of pure death metal will enjoy. For sure.
Stream or buy Cannibalistic Tendencies here: