Review Summary: "My will to fuck the dead lives on"
Genre divisions seem to be dissolving by the day, and one of the more heartening examples of this is with the intermingling of hardcore and death metal. Bands like 200 Stab Wounds, Gatecreeper, and Undeath are proving that perhaps two-stepping hardcore dudes have more common ground with death metal old heads wearing tattered Deicide shirts than they might have originally considered. Then again the combination of death metal and hardcore is not a new phenomenon: the subgenre of brutal death metal was formed as a way combine the agility of death metal with the bludgeoning breakdowns of hardcore. Brutal death metal has mutated from this original goal in increasingly esoteric ways, but Sanguisugabogg is here to reconnect the subgenre back to its roots.
is a significant upgrade from their album debut Tortured Whole
, and will hopefully win over fans who felt the band lost track of what made their EP Pornographic Seizures
promising. There’s a lot more energy in the riffs while still retaining their caveman brutishness. Special praise goes to drummer Cody Davidson for his flexibility around the kit, a highlight being the drum solo to “Proclamation of the Frail” where spry hi hat hits dance around oozing, chugging guitars. While I wish the guitar playing was more adventurous (the 45 minute runtime doesn’t help matters), the quartet flow through lumbering grooves effortlessly buoyed by appropriately disgusting production. In fact, that straightforward sense of groove is probably why they’ve caught on with the hardcore crowd as much as they have, enough to where they’ve enlisted Jesus Piece vocalist Aaron Heard to provide a guest verse on “Face Ripped Off”.
Lyrically, Homicidal Ecstasy
features the standard death metal fixations on guts, gore, and various other viscera, but with an interesting leitmotif. Every song is about feeling an obsessive need to commit violence and the sense of release that comes with it, a homicidal ecstasy if you will. Sometimes it comes in the form of sexual urges like with “Narcissistic Incisions”, “Necrosexual Deviant”, and “Testicular Rot". On other tracks, like “Mortal Admonishment” and closer “Feening for Bloodshed”, the source for these desires is unclear but the addiction to causing bloodshed is too strong. It’s not groundbreaking writing for death metal, but the thematic cohesion is a nice touch that vocalist Devin Swank didn’t have to include. It pairs nicely with the band’s Z-grade horror movie aesthetic, taking something that in another context could’ve been tiresomely edgy and turning it into cheesy gross-out gags.
If you’ve had your brutal death metal appetites satiated by the technical wizardry of groups like Defeated Sanity, Homicidal Ecstasy
will be too lunkheaded for you. However, if you’re in the mood for chunky beatdowns by a band that has sown their tongues directly to their cheeks, Sanguisugabogg have you covered. Considering these guys toured with hardcore stalwarts Terror in 2022 and are touring with death metal mainstays Cannibal Corpse this year, these guys have deceptively smart ideas on whom their shtick will appeal to.