Cuff – Transient Suffering Through the Ergosphere (Gore House Productions, 2014)

GHP024 - Cuff - Transient SufferingJust when I think I have Gore House Productions all figured out, they start throwing wicked curve balls late in the year.  First came the oddly progressive debut full length from Swine Overlord, then the “party slam” of Party Cannon; now we’ve got Canada’s Cuff, who’ve unleashed what might be the be-all-end-all of goregrind whatthefuckery in the form of Transient Suffering Through the Ergosphere.  I don’t typically expect a goregrind album to make me stop and ask myself what the hell I just listened to when its run-time is up, but that’s exactly what’s happened with my first exposure to Cuff.

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Party Cannon – Partied in Half (Gore House Productions, 2014)

GHP022 Party Cannon - Partied In HalfBefore I ever heard even a single note from Scotland’s Party Cannon, I loved their shtick.  With their Toys ‘R’ Us-esque logo and song titles like “There’s a Reason You’re Single” and “Tyrone, You Put that Sugar Down,” everything about them seemed to fly in the face of slam’s established gore-drenched norms, and it was refreshing to see a band poking fun at the genre from within.  One might argue that this approach could cause them to be labelled a “joke band,” but it only takes a few listens to Party Cannon’s debut EP Partied in Half to know that these Scotsmen are dead serious about their slam.

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Emptiness – Nothing but the Whole (Dark Descent, 2014)

a0173805231_10Underground metal is a land of extremes.  Bands playing so fast that a human drummer can’t keep up, bands playing so slow they make a glacier look speedy, bands trying to play the heaviest, the most technical, the most brutal, the most… ah, fuck it, you get the idea.  What I’m attempting to get at is, there’s typically no such thing as subtlety in the circles we travel in.  This is what makes Emptiness’ Nothing but the Whole such a refreshing album.  Where other bands seek to crush your soul in the first thirty seconds, Emptiness would rather watch it slowly wither and die.

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Cannibal Corpse – A Skeletal Domain (Metal Blade Records, 2014)

cannibal corpse - a skeletal domainAs much as I’ve championed brutal death metal here at THKD lately, I’d be remiss not to review the latest album from Cannibal Corpse, the proverbial granddaddies of ‘em all.  I mean, I think we can all agree that this entire subset of death metal wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the boys from Tampa, who’ve now been at it for an unbelievable twenty-six years.  A Skeletal Domain is the thirteenth album in their lengthy, storied career and even after only being out for a few weeks it has already garnered opinions ranging from “it’s the best thing they’ve done since 2006′s Kill” to “it sounds like Cannibal Corpse.”

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Compelling Natural Force: A Caligari Records round-up (Heavydeath, Act of Impalement, Ellorsith).

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As Caligari Records continues to pick up steam, it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep up with the avalanche of quality cassettes.  Fifteen releases deep and not a single dud in the bunch is a hell of a track record, and you can pretty much rest assured at this point that anything Caligari puts its name to is going to be excellent.  Case in point: the label’s three latest releases are all very different from one another, but all well worth your time.  So without further ado, let us investigate the latest from Caligari’s cabinet…

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A word on brutality.

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Brutal death metal bands often get accused of promoting misogyny and violence.  I was thinking about this the other day while listening to Abusing Dismembered Beauties, the third and most recent album from Italian slammers Vulvectomy.  Here I am, enjoying an album adorned with cover art that features a variety of gruesomely murdered/mutilated women and song titles such as “Deformed Tits Collection” and “Orgasmic Sensation Through Fecal Ingestion.”  I guess at this point my fondness for slam and brutal death metal is no secret, but surely many fellow metalheads would call it in extremely poor taste, ignorant, hateful, misogynistic or some combination thereof.

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