Sadistic Metal Reviews: Fishy Friday Fornications

Troy McClure fish

Article by Corey M.

Deathcult cover
Deathcult – Demo 12 (2012)
Critically indistinct Entombedcore complete with oversaturated guitar fuzz, random d-beats and weirdly laid-back vocals coming from the distant corner of a dirty, empty, boring warehouse interior. From a pop-rock songwriting position, there is a lot of good to find here, as songs have clearly defined segments that are never too long or too short, and there are lots of brief build-up bits that anticipate a transition into a section with a different feel than whatever was last heard. Goldilocks metal – never “too” anything, always “just right” – shows that the musicians are not so drug-addled or retarded that they can’t put together songs better than your average punk band. However, since Deathcult play death metal, the listening experience is extremely boring. Death metal lends itself to whiplash-inducing extreme dynamic shifts in tempo or key because the overall intensity and tone of the music holds the songs together and covers the different modes of expression that an imaginative band can explore. Like a deadly car chase, death metal speeds up, slows down, and takes drastic turns in disorienting routes, but all for the sake of accomplishing something. Deathcult would rather take a leisurely Sunday cruise.

feral
Feral – For Those Who Live in Darkness(2016)
Feral play very modern black metal that gracefully sidesteps any overtly “post-” tendencies. Techniques range from long, blasting, tremolo lines of melody ala early Dark Funeral, to third-wave-era slightly heavy-metal(ish) rock-out moments, but these are not disparate components and actually transition from one to another quite smoothly. With this apparent lack of negative aspects, how could For Those Who Live in Darkness be bad? Surely it would be inoffensively mediocre at worst, wouldn’t you think? Perhaps, but this is actually worse than outright bad metal. While black metal can be a wellspring of energy that the listener may draw from strength in solitude, this music only presents a void, a vacuum that sucks in energy and emotion, leaving the listener not just dissatisfied but drained of spirit and motivation. The obliviously anti-Christian rants, tortured-artist vocals, and paint-by-numbers minor chord patterns are as impotent and flaccid as a male to female transsexual’s surgically inverted “penis”. The target audience of Feral are early-twenty-something, excessively made-up women who can often be seen chain-smoking outside of music venues when they are not posting soulless monochrome photos of their favorite (local) bands on whatever social media platform is hippest at the moment.

Phalloplasty - Necrophagic Funeral Ritual (Reissue)
Phalloplasty – Necrophagic Funeral Ritual (2012)
Somehow, this (presumably) one-man goregrind/brutal death metal act comes off as even less intense and brutal than NOFX or Lagwagon. The obviously programmed drums cycle through various irrelevant beats sequenced with all the imagination of a mineral or other inert object. The guitars, which are typically the highlight of even the worst knuckle-dragging brutal music, are bright and featherweight-sounding, completely nullifying any intended brutality. I give the composer/guitarist kudos for at least making the guitar riffs audible but in this case it works against the music. The chord sequences are pop-punk-simple and amelodically bland. There is barely any low-end in the music subverting the brutal paradigm again for the worse. Truly it is baffling that a musician who at least has the capacity to program drum sequences and record guitar riffs would fail this hard at making music in the one genre that demands so little of its participants. Phalloplasty should immediately check himself into a group home or a mental institution. I will happily fund his care with my tax dollars so long as nothing of this sort gets released again. I recommends a hollow-point bullet to the back of the skull. -D.M.

Qrixkuor Three Devils Dance CD
Qrixkuor – Three Devils Dance (2016)
Qrixkuor cut-and-paste various subterranean, tremolo-picked riffs and wailing, atonal leads from early ’90s death metal but lack the ability to convincingly replicate the intensity of Morbid Angel or Immolation. What we get instead is a pleasantly nostalgic but grainy and not particularly detailed mashup, “low-resolution” in that you can zoom-in and discover that what appears to be a detailed image from afar breaks down into incongruent little bits when viewed up-close. This style of production (or reproduction, as it were) has already been used to little effect by the likes of Mitochondrion and Antediluvian, two of the better bands that wrote effective riffs but buried them in intentionally obscure mixing methods. Unlike any of the aforementioned bands’ releases, however, Three Devils Dance leaves one with a distinct non-impression, and the poor mixing is only one cause for this. The other is the autistically organized compositions which run for far (FAR) too long: The first track is nearly ten minutes in length and the next two make up a half-hour together. The band’s goal to disorient the listener with an overwhelming inundation of indistinct waves of riffs. ┬áIt worked as after several back-to-back listens, I could only remember one or two segments of melody with any clarity. Qrixkuor should take another cue from their idols and realize that death metal songs have the most impact when everything is said succinctly. Suffocation packed more information into a four-minute song than you hear in the entire forty minutes of Three Devils Dance.

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20 thoughts on “Sadistic Metal Reviews: Fishy Friday Fornications”

  1. Poser Patrol says:

    Death metal does not lend itself well to very long songs, past 8 minutes or so, with a few notable exceptions. It’s hard to keep the energy from dissipating without very careful composition.

    Anyway, this was a great SMR, loved the car chase bit, Cheers

    1. vOddy says:

      To do tracks longer than around 8 minutes, a serious change of theme is needed. A constant barrage of maze like riffs can only be done for a certain amount of time. Eventually, a second theme is needed, like on “Left Hand Path”, the track.

      There are many possibilities. An architectural, deliberate path of progression is possible, slowly unveiling until it is fully revealed.

      An overtly atmospheric interlude like on “Left Hand Path” is also an option – going mid paced or slow paced with something spooky.

      1. vOddy says:

        I really think that death metal can work past 8 minutes. It can even work in symphonic lengths. It’s just that people don’t do what it takes for that, but all of the tools are there. The genre is robust and capable enough for it to be done well, without the music no longer being death metal.

        Basically, just do what orchestral symphonies do, with death metal riffs and atmosphere instead.

        1. vOddy says:

          Know when to change rapidly, but also know when to slow down and dwell on one theme, developing it until it culminates in an apex. Then, go where it is natural to go after such an event.

          For example, returning to a previous theme with more intensity can work, since it now has a new context.

          1. Mythic Imagination says:

            I agree, there is still much to do with death metal. I find potentiality in many albums and even songs that seems still untapped. Cut out the mundane and make a total experience

          2. Poser Patrol says:

            What you describe more or less captures the approach of Therion – The Way, possibly the best long death metal song.

            1. Therion always described themselves as “more symphonical” as they had more riffs per song than Entombed.

              1. Mythic Imagination says:

                Never liked that song, when I think of long, good death metal I think of Timeghoul’s monstrous Occurrence on Mimas, very well composed, if a bit of a riff salad. The components are there, the talent or will to create, is lacking.

        2. Poser Patrol says:

          Death Metal symphonies? The idea is intriguing but almost certainly impractical. For one, classical composers had an entire orchestra of instruments at their disposal which meant near endless possibilities of texture, timbre, and layering over the course of a composition. Death metal is quite limited in that respect, where guitar and percussion are all that really matter. Classical music also displays a wider spectrum of mood and atmosphere, while death metal is restricted to the darker emotions. Without those kinds of contrasts to work with, a death metal symphony would be quite monotonous. The energies of death metal musicians would be better spent with the 4-6 minute convention.

          1. Mythic Imagination says:

            While you’re most likely right, the various sounds and dynamics which could be created by different effects pedals and amps migth be able to make up for some of that. It could also, quite likely, be a giant mess.

            As far as emotion goes, death metal doesn’t really have a normal happy but perhaps a joy in blasphemy or destruction?

            1. vOddy says:

              Like you said, different pedals can be used. We also have to admit to ourselves, despite many failed attempts, that keyboards or other non standard instruments can be used.

              But how important is timbre really anyway? It’s a big deal, of course. But I don’t think it’s so important that a long piece can’t be used without varying the timbre a lot. Pace, melody, rhythm, and harmony (not the kind produced by the overtones of certain timbre, the normal kind) provide enough potential for variance.

              As for the moods that fit within death metal, I think that there are enough of them.

  2. Can you survive the blitzkrieg says:

    Look at the fabulously gay Resident Evil monster on the Quixxrueer cover. Actually all of these album covers are fucking terrible, as if they’re a reflection of how today’s scene metal is is a poor copy of things that werent that good 16 years ago. The mediocre is now completely faceless.

    1. LostInTheANUS says:

      I think Feral’s looks even worse, looks like it’s from some shitty flash game.

      1. vOddy says:

        This website has the best usernames that I have seen of any site.

        “Can you survive the blitzkrieg”

        and

        “LostInTheANUS” (only catchy because of the American Nihilist Underground Society).

        1. vOddy says:

          Not to mention “Poser Patrol”, hahaha

          “Mythic Imagination” I also like.

          I laugh and smile just from reading the names of the commenters. Keep it up, you glorious bastards.

        2. LostInTheANUS says:

          There are much better than mine. I personally like BROWN ASSHOLE SHOOTING LOGS and there’s another one which I don’t exactly remember but it went something like Manly Power Metal Guy with 10 Inch Love Rod

          1. C.M. says:

            “Roger Waters’ unwashed dildo” was always my favorite.

  3. C.M. says:

    Just realized that the inverted penis quip links back to the Winds of Genocide event. Got a good laugh from that one… all over again. Thanks editor.

    1. vOddy says:

      That was an epic thread.

      It got me thinking about why open dislike of homosexuals and transgendered people is so over represented here.
      I think it’s because a lot of people in general dislike them, but in metal, and especially here, honesty is considered a virtue, so people say it. In society at large, people censor themselves.

      If I thought that homosexuals were degenerate, or that trans gendered people were just like otherkin, those people who think that they’re animals in human bodies, and all of the other tumblr nonsense, rather than people with an actual mental disorder, the symptoms of which subside after changing the body, then I would certainly say so.

      I am open about what I hate, as every one should be.

      1. vOddy says:

        Actually, I don’t know if those things are over represented here when compared to the countries of the readers. I’m used to Sweden. It may just be that the U.S has more of it than Sweden does, and therefore, more of it appears on this site of mostly U.S users.

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