01. Legalize Homicide
02. Fifty Ton War Machine
03. Conceived In Sewage
04. Fucked With Rats
05. March to Megiddo
06. Today We Die, Tomorrow We Kill
07. Heaving Acid
08. Carved Into Ecstasy
09. Parasitic Eruption
Notorious Devourment, harbingers of an entire sub genre frowned upon by death metal purists, return to bash skulls in with their first full length in four years. Brutality is a much-touted byword in this particular scene, and while I can occasionally enjoy simplistic chugathons, to me oppressive, violent death metal has always been more synonymous with bands predating the style in question; when it comes down to it, few, in my estimation, can rival the sheer bloody-nosed irreverence of titles like ‘Lunatic Of God’s Creation’, ”Your Rotting Face’, Coronation Of Our Domain’, ‘Slowly We Rot’, ‘Liege Of Inveracity’, ‘Benedictine Convulsions’, etc, songs you wouldn’t necessarily associate with the term “brutal death metal” (other than Suffocation, of course). Bands like Infester and Embalmer, still grimier offshoots, exhibited far more backwoods brutality and an innate sense of perversion, intimately woven into the fabric of the overall sound, never faked, than what has come to be called slam/brutal death; a vibe achieved through a general tone of malice fostered by the arrangements, and not just overt use of gruesome, politically incorrect audio samples or uniformly dumbed down riffing.
Stream the entire album below:
To their credit, though, Devourment switch things up on Conceived In Sewage. While they aren’t about to be mistaken for Pavor anytime soon, the progenitors of slam choose, for the most part, to give wide berth to the gratuituous breakdown. Now I don’t mean to suggest that there is nothing of the sort on display here; the band still chug away to glory for more than equitable portions of the album but Devourment have certainly upped the tempo on these sections, almost to the extent of dissuading pit ninjas and assorted martial artists from honing their chops to the nuisance of all gathered. It’s a funny thing; played just a touch slowly, these parts would yet resemble the archetypal slam, but as they stand, they resemble a slam band hurrying through their set to meet the closing call. And it works better than it has ever worked, or has worked, at least since Molesting The Decapitated.
I mean, I could make out Mike Majewski growling ‘I watch them die. Their dying eyes burned in my mind’ on opener ‘Legalize Homicide’ without referring the lyric sheet. Surely that has to be a first for this band? The piglet-gargling-down-the-toilet burps, once Ruben Rosas’ specialty, are somewhat held back in favour of a more traditional lower register; of course, this being Devourment, “traditional” is somewhat of an event parallax.
But it is the little things done differently that will ultimately bear favourable testimony to Conceived In Sewage. The title song begins with a doomy intro that lapses into one of the most infectious breakdowns the band has penned; good luck staying still when this is played live. An instrumental, ‘March To Megiddo’, with its staggered, stabbing chords and the martial beat underneath, is something you’d expect on a Hail Of Bullets record, but it is startlingly effective respite before plunging headlong into the remainder of the album’s groove-obsessed charnel grounds. Elsewhere, Devourment channel Cannibal Corpse, and old death metal, in general, more than they ever have, giving it their distinct, neanderthal slant; I just wonder how much more exotic the whole thing would’ve been with a solo or three thrown into the mix.
Some may call Devourment low-brow entertainment but, much like Mortician, there is a niche, and a need, for bands like them. That is not to condone the hordes of imitators, but Devourment are genuine originators and Conceived In Sewage shows a veteran band caring enough to diversify their basic template.