Review Summary: Highly addictive brutal/technical death metal with surprisingly catchy and melodic riffage.It was a quiet Sunday afternoon when I decided to give Masticate to Dominate a spin. I had only recently found out about these Americans, after accidentally downloading Lacerated Masturbation, a song that immediately struck me to the point of madness. So, there I was, sitting back comfortably, waiting for the first track, Anal Skewer, to begin. The intro of this track was of the kind that makes you expect a sudden explosion, thus I hoped I hadn’t adjusted the volume too high. Thirty minutes later, with a heart pumping from excitement, I would cautiously open my eyes to make sure the world had survived Gorgasm’s fast and furious assault…
Brutal death metal is by definition a rather confining sub-genre. If you cross the borders, you’re switching genre. The scope of action is restricted and I suspect this is the reason an excessive amount of bands are buried in mediocrity, producing nothing but generic-sounding records. However - just like horror films! - when brutal death metal is done properly, it can be awesome; fact that justifies the existent fanbase. There are quite a few brutal death metal acts that set themselves apart from the rest, shining like diamonds in the sand and Gorgasm are definitely one of them.
But how can a band with such a clichéd name and concept –take a look at their song titles- be different from the pile? I was wondering the same thing too before I actually listened to them. The answer is found in the smart way they incorporate their influences to their music, their twisted sense of melody and the superb song writing. Masticate to Dominate contains ten technical (e.g. Deadfu
ck), incredibly catchy (e.g. Lacerated Masturbation, Corpsefiend) and addicting songs; all effortlessly executed, sustained by an ideal production.
I remember reading an interview, where one of the band’s members was saying how they try to find the golden medium between American brutal death metal and European death metal. Although I personally haven’t detected any obvious European death metal elements, this statement might explain Gorgasm’s trademark: their melody - don’t even think it has the slightest relation with Gothenburg! - which has an apparent neoclassical edge
So, musically, Gorgasm inject a wide variety of influences into a traditional but a lot thrashier Suffocation esque formula. At some points they bring Immolation
to mind with majestic and bizarre, yet old school sounding musical phrases (like for example in Stitched Oral Asphyxia). Some other times you can swear you sense a Deicide
presence, affecting the overall feeling as well as the way the vocal lines are delivered. And of course a subliminal late era Death
influence runs through the entire record and it’s impressively epitomized in the bridge of Masticate to Dominate.
A highlight in Gorgasm’s music is the vocals, which clearly pursue the “brutality” factor. They’re around the same level with Beheaded’s, a bit higher maybe, and Suffocation’s vocals but slightly more varied. The vocal lines often follow the guitar riffs creating a lot of catchy and sing-along moments!
(e.g. Charred Vaginal Effluece).
Gorgasm play at insanely fast speeds without suffering from Hate Eternal syndrome. This is a personal term of mine, describing super fast death metal objectively done properly, as you cannot quite define anything wrong, but practically sounding bland and forgettable. Thankfully, this band is far from this simply because they know how to add variety. This is done with constant speed alternations, breakdowns - although there are couple of breakdowns in the album that don’t sound as inspired as one would expect but they only last a few seconds - and the double bass trick: the speed and intensity is maintained by the double bass in the background but the guitars and singing follow a slower pattern (for example refer to Sean Reinert’s drumming in Death’s Human)
In Supreme Brutality e-zine, Paul Garcia (bassist/vocalist), among all, mentions Ashlee Simpson as an influence...! I suppose the guys have her in mind when they write the lyrics...Seriously though, the lyrics are the bad aspect of the album. They’re supposed to have been written from a serial killer’s perspective but they’re way too misogynistic so, I prefer to completely ignore them, although I KNOW they’re not to be taken seriously. Besides, I never really liked the splatter lyrics of the genre and it’s always a wonder how such an intelligent music can have such unintelligent lyrical content.
Speaking of bad aspects, a thing I don’t quite like is the short length of the songs, which last 3 minutes each on average and in the end you literally
find yourself begging for more. Then, it's the lack of solos. Well, there are a few solos but they’re way too short. It’s a torture to KNOW that these guys can SHRED but they chose not to use this ability of theirs regularly. Thankfully, as it can be heard in their 2006 promo, both of the problems described above have been fixed.
In overall, this is a really catchy and addictive piece of brutal/technical death metal, with surprisingly melodic riffage. It has a couple of negative aspects like misogynistic lyrics, short songs and solos and but they DEFINITELY don’t detract from the overall enjoyment. Highly recommended to people who already dig the style or to people who don’t hold brutal death metal in particularly great regard.