Review Summary: Wading Through Boring Slams
As far as I’m concerned there is an ongoing pandemic in brutal death metal. It was a decent idea at first, and an undeniably progressive one, for a single band to take a single element out of a Suffocation
song and base an entire characteristic sound around it. If you take notice to the singularity of this claim, you’ll see that I am very much implying that it is not so much of a good idea for an entire sub-genre to emanate because of this. Regardless, here we are, and slamming brutal death metal seems to be overpopulating the brutal death metal umbrella at a noticeably rapid pace. The appeal of slam is understandable. It’s easier to make slamming brutal death as opposed to, say, technical brutal death, and it is definitely easier for consumption (all things considered). However, it is becoming somewhat of a plague; one that I have every intention of putting an end to by doing such things as giving dull slam bands the negative reviews that they deserve.
Amputated are a five piece from the United Kingdom; perhaps most notorious for partaking in a documentary in which they cooperated with a female pop band (Fallen Angelz) to craft a song. Their debut album, Gargling With Infected Semen
, had a fairly heavy grind influence but still held its own in terms of brutality. What Amputated attempt to do with Wading Through Rancid Offal
, is refine and accentuate the brutality in their sound. How better to go about doing this than by adding more slams to the formula?
Well, there are certainly better ways, but the band does manage to create one of the more exciting (and I mean this as much as I can) albums within the sub-sub-genre this year. They waste no time with revealing their entire hand; after all, one should know exactly what to expect when the first song is titled ‘Slam Pig.’ The album (and every song for that matter) opens with a “funny” and/or “disgusting” sample, which is succeeded by a bong-inspired bellow backed by a tedious slam. It isn’t an incredibly enticing start, and unfortunately it doesn’t get much more inviting after that.
Some of the slams on the album hold interest, and most of them certainly do their job, but the majority are just mind-numbingly boring. It also doesn’t say much in the album’s favor that the highlights are the more traditional brutal/grind riffs that transpire in between the slams…seeing as how those riffs are even more generic than the slams themselves. The drums lack any real power, the production is almost too clean given the genre (which both dent the band’s ambitions of being “ultra brutal”), and the vocals vary from pig squeals to pig snarls – it’s a stereotypical slam mess.
The United Kingdom isn’t very dense in terms of death metal, much less brutal death metal, which makes Amputated one of the leaders of their scene solely by circumstance. Being that this is a genre where the term ‘generic’ is more of a clarifier than it is a detraction, Amputated have, to an extent, succeeded with their goals; resulting in one of the better slam releases to come out of this year. It’s truly a matter of being the best of the worst.