Mr. George Fisher — most famous to denizens of the internet as an aficionado of cuddly stuffed animals (see here, here, here, here, and here for just a few examples) — has apparently decided to try his hand at death metal vocals.
While I’m not completely sure what prompted this new hobby (although I’m curious whether it might have resulted from a coincidental similarity in appearance to Dethklok vocalist Nathan Explosion from the hit Adult Swim show Metalocalypse, particularly when Mr. Fisher is depicted in cartoon format, as evidenced in the cover artwork shown below), for whatever reason he has assembled himself a brand-new band he calls Corpsegrinder which will release its self-titled debut album one week from today!
Corpsegrinder – Corpsegrinder (Perseverance Music Group, 25 February 2022)
Ok well, after a little bit of research I’ve learned that the eponymous band Corpsegrinder is not the only time Fisher has ever done vocals in a metal band before. It turns out he’s made guest appearances with quite a few of them, ranging from Suffocation to Job for a Cowboy; lengthy stints with Serpentine Dominion, Paths of Possession, and even put in several years working with Cannibal Corpse after the former guy left to pursue his true passion as a full-time Twitter troll. So in other words, dude has known his way around a microphone for a long time.
Unsurprisingly, these ten songs represent well-executed examples of good old American death metal — riffs and solos that sometimes nod to old-school thrash, as the genre often does; these, along with the thunderous headbang-inducing rhythm section, are all provided by Charlie and Nick Bellmore (who also co-produced with record label owner Jamey Jasta), brothers who are no strangers to working with legendary vocalists as they also round out the line-ups of Dee Snyder‘s solo band as well as Kingdom of Sorrow which features Jasta alongside Kirk Windstein.
But of course, when a vocalist embarks on a solo project, the main point of interest will naturally be the vocals. And despite being in his early 50s now, Corpsegrinder seems to be in peak condition on Corpsegrinder. Thirty solid minutes of the intense, extreme growling and roaring that made him famous. (Well, that plus the stuffed animal thing I mentioned earlier.) In many ways the album has as much of a modern feel as it does traditional death metal: every once in a while the singer and band feel like they are tip-toeing up to the boundary of deathcore territory — the repeated hooks “Into the acid vat” from “Acid Vat” and “It’s your funeral!” from “Death is the Only Key” feel like they could easily have turned into jumping-off points for a massive ‘core breakdown — but without ever quite crossing that line.
Listening to the record, the main thing I find continuing to draw me in, though, is the lyrics. Absent are the oft-misogynistic and needlessly-gory-just-for-shock-value themes that have frequently characterized death metal, but instead focusing feelings of rage against those most deserving of it, those that make up the very worst of society. The songwriter wisely avoids directly identifying any individuals or groups as the target of this ire, which is great because it frees you to look at all the negativity and awfulness around yourself (of which there certainly seems to be an overabundance these days!) and allow the words to help direct all your pent-up anger and aggression at whomever or whatever you deem most appropriate.
A few highlights: “You’re despicable / Unforgivable / Fuck you, waste of life / Ending you is my goal / Now I [slam the?] fucking lifeless body / As I put you in a shallow hole” from the end of “Devourer of Souls”; also pretty much all of “Bottom Dweller” including “Just as worthless as the words you speak,” “I’ll fill the can / I’ll pour the gas / Then light the match / Watch you turn to ash,” and “Only remnants of your body will be found.” Perhaps not high-class poetry, but it all feels so relatable, like these words are exactly my internal monologue at SOME point every day regarding SOMEone or SOMEthing.
The album is available to pre-order in all formats right here.
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