събота, 22 юни 2013 г.

Exhumator - Atrophy of feelings (Атрофия на чувствата)

Ексхуматор (Exhumator) is a fucking obscure band in every aspect that could ever be. This band hails from the underground of Bulgaria in the 90s and is the project of one man's crazy mind. It's a little difficult for me to label this band and album, but I can honestly say one thing - this album is damn sick. Start with the cover - a few stitches on an obviously wounded flesh. The concept of this whole creation is to sound evil and sick and it does.

To begin with, there are elements of thrash and black metal in this album, but in my opinion it comes nearest to death metal. The singing is not a typical growl, nor is it grunting, more likely some weird mumbling that at moments becomes very angry and fast, but never high pitched or screaming. It's average death metal singing and I would normally dig it and not put so much emphasis on it, but the production is so terrible that you can hardly hear distinguishable words. I know that death metal is not normally the genre in which you will hear clearly every word, but with a better production this could have been a lot more enjoyable. Take for example, Bolt Thrower, songs like "The IV Crusade" would never have been so rad if you couldn't hear Karl's words. I read once that he was a mediocre vocalist and it pains me even now when I think about it...

There are thousands of death metal albums that you could find lying around under the dust of time and you can ask me - why should I check out this specific album? Well, what makes it cooler than the average technical copy-paste death metal album is that in "Atrophy of feelings" there is some soul put into it. You can easily tell so by listening to the solos. Take for instance the opener track, there are some really perfect and touching guitar solos that cut off at some points of the song, but instead of sounding out of place or too artificial, the solos fit very well and sound more than great. What is more, the tape sounds fucking old and real, maybe because it was made with such a small budget and not professionally in a bright and swept off studio, I have no idea, but it sounds pretty authentic, which I believe is very important for this genre.

The guitar sound is really great and works in perfect harmony with the drums, there are occasional slow downs, almost doom-like, which makes the whole album sound so much gloomier and evil. The low tuning and basement feeling really makes me feel as if I'm not in my room, but in a rather darker and colder place. 

The lyrics are as brain fucked as one could expect. They concern happy and gay topics like crematoriums, the day on which one dies, deadly lands and abnormal places. On the "tape booklet" the dude behind the music can be seen pictured in a morgue so yeah, he really takes this shit seriously. The lyrics are not sick in the exactly Carcass morbid kind of way, but in certain aspects they're even worse, because mental collapse and the process of losing your soul might be just as depressing as picturing decomposing meat. I like this kind of art, it shows that not everything is roses and sunshine and something valuable can be made out of misery.

Of course, there are some things to be wanted. For instance, the drums sound pretty weak - not in skill, but in tone. The drumming and bass guitar should be more audible and as I already said - the vocals could be fixed a little. But all in all, I think that this is one stinky and awesome tape. 

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