Earache records, one of the most well-known and thriving labels in extreme metal since the late eighties. But when I hear this album I never fail to ask myself “What in the hell are they so busy with that they have never worked with this band, or offer to put this album into print?”.
Before I go on to try to give this album a description that is even relevantly competent enough to describe this album, I feel it to be absolutely essential to explain a little bit about the band. These started in the Little Rock Arkansas area with two bass players, one of them taking on vocal duties, disbanding in 1997, but having released this discography in 2003, they have since effectivley reformed, toured, and shared stages with acts such as Thorlock, Buzzoven, Jungle Juice, Asura, Black Market Ministry, just to name a few. I believe that the best way for me to describe the sound of this album is to put in a nutshell the experience of the first time out of the four that I witnessed them in concert, since at this time their set consisted of these songs that are magnetically featured on the discography album “Anatomy Of Self-Abuse”.
As I noticed there was no guitar player, I became skeptical of their music and performance, since I had already noticed two bass stacks, a microphone, a drum-kit, and a lap-top being set up (by a member who has since been added in the reformation of the group), that would implode the skepticism out my mind that was soon to crushed by this sound, this monolithic wall of an auditory cacophony that still to this day cannot describe. They started their set, the sound of two basses caked with a sludge and grime of distortion felt like an eolithic hammer pounding me in the chest by every single note of the dissonantly harmonized bass lines that were excreting sounds from the strings, meanwhile the groove of the pagan-like drums induced a trance that dominated my every movement, whilst the shrieking growl of the vocals pierced my eardrums, the ambient sounds seeping from the lap-top made me feel as if I was lost in a sea of sounds as I was sucked into it’s malevolent gyre.
The album blasts off with a song called “Prey”, first comes one bass along with a catchy sort of sludgy groove that is reminiscent of post-punk, that totally complements the grooves of the bass, as the following bass line comes in and gives the piece a tone that mimics the sound of the tectonic plates of Earth shifting, then soon the vocals shriek (Don’t blame me, for your own, incompetence and needs). This band along with their sound, lyrics, and their general structure, style, and presentation of what it is in its pure form is absolutely plush with intelligence, originality, and true energy. Right from the opening song “Prey”, all the way to the closing track “competent”, this album never fails from track to track to induce the intensity, grasp, and defeats all that makes an album boring. As one drones within the samples that seem to intertwine every track as much as they represent a poetic evaluation for the lyrics of the song you hear after the sample preliminary to the song that it introduces, then bursts into these vibratory explosions that are the songs of this album, one cannot help but to be captured by it’s enforced hypnotism.
This is a group that I feel has not gotten the recognition that they deserve. In my opinion (along with many other people I have personally discussed this group with) they rank with most any of the bands considered to be a classic in the extreme metal underground. Anything that I have posted in this article trying to give a brief definition of this album and it’s sound is merely a vast under-statement. This album and it’s songs, as mind blowing as they are, is not quite as mind-boggling as it is when performed with their current line-up since they added a new drummer as well as a new member in charge of the samples and electronics end of the group. It seems almost as if the chemistry of the group has improved and the songs have more of a cognitive sound where each instrument seems to be mechanically complementing the sound as a whole.
All I can truly say about this album is that is one of my personal favorites in the historical discography of metal, it’s sludgy, doomy, atmospheric, groovy, dark, catchy, and more than original. I highly recommend a download of this album so that one can draw their own opinion on it. It can be downloaded here as a torrent, as well for free on their account on last.fm.