Straight from the Netherlands, is a new album from the death metal/goregrind outfit 666 Shades Of Shit, entitled Whoracle Of Blasfemales. Prior to this release, I was not aware of this band’s existence, but this new album being released on one of my favorite music labels, Rotten Roll Rex, coupled with the fact that the single used for this song was pretty amazing, I was eagerly waiting for the release of this album and the chance to review it. Was it worth the wait, and were my expectations matched? Well, kind of. When I first listened to the album, I wasn’t disappointed, so much as I was underwhelmed by it, primarily because of the lackluster songwriting compared to the single. But on my second listening of the album, I found that I could enjoy some aspects of its simplicity, while still experiencing some unfulfilling points of mediocrity.
Before I comment on the actual music itself, I feel I should start with the album’s strongest feature in my opinion: the presentation. With art by Pedro Sena, the cover of this album is fantastic, and was part of the reason I had a lot of hype going into it. The cover depicts a demonic, catastrophic level of devastation and destruction, with goat-headed women tied to inverted crosses with barbed wire, purifying fire in the background, gory remnants at the base of it all, and a clown like butcher skulking in the back. Combine this imagery with amazing colors and lighting, bottom line the cover kicks fucking ass, and like it did to me, is sure to turn some heads and catch the attention of anyone who sees it. But obviously a flashy cover isn’t enough to sate any metal heads appetite unless the music accompanying it fits the atmosphere the cover projects, and luckily, 666 Shades delivers on that as well.
Whoracle Of Blasfemales provides a sound that projects the ‘end of the world’ like atmosphere as best as a death-gore band could. The low tuned, death metal guitars are heavy, firm and are reminiscent of something you would hear in the video game, DOOM, albeit more slower and mid-paced. The drums sound amazing in the mix, and have this tribal edge to them that has an almost ritualistic, and violent personality, and it accentuates the tone on this album perfectly. The bass, has an excellent presence to it, and adds an extra fuzz to the sound of the album, acting almost like a secret backbone in how it supports the album’s sound, with its fog-like thickness. The pitch-shifted vocals do offer a semblance of demonic gargling and devastating vomit, but come off as non-energetic and don’t have much emotion in them. My least favorite part of this albums sound have to be the typical slam/brutal death metal vocals. These vocals are a dime a dozen, and consistently don’t offer anything new here, instead giving a repetitive “bree, bree, bree” performance in conjunction with the pitch shifted vocals throughout the whole album. Occasionally, there’s a break in the monotonous vocals like on the track ‘Halul’ giving a short but sweet, scream of agony. If repetitive, uninspired slam vocals are your thing, you won’t be disappointed, but if you’re looking for a bit more nuanced sounding death-gore album, you might want to look elsewhere. Unfortunately, the monotony didn’t stop at the vocals, and instead infected how the songs were written on the album as well.
Don’t get me wrong, I like goregrind, but from time to time, I can’t help but expect a little more initiative to shake things up from bands, whether it be from lyrical content, which this album lacks, except for some silly and humorous tracks titles, how the band sounds, or how they write their music. The intro for the album is oddly disconnected form the cataclysmic tone, instead opting for a demented carnival like atmosphere. What I truly expected in the category of songwriting was different from what I actually got listening to this. The single used for the album is the title track, “Whoracle Of Blasfemales” and while it starts off as a typical goregrind song with the same riff played and nothing peculiar, it turns into a demented Mad-Max like wasteland soundtrack with tribal, wild drumming that feels like its building to a devastating climax, followed by off the rails wailing guitar and pained screams. This song kicks ass and is easily the most identifiable track, and the best of the album. However, the personality stops there, with every other song having little to no differentiating qualities and all sounding the same, aside from the occasional bass solo here, or cowbell there. By the time the album is halfway over, I’m already getting bored and each additional song turns into a slog. That’s not to say there’s no redeeming qualities though. There’s enough songs that offer simple groovy riffs that don’t overstay their welcome like “Lesbian Truck Driver” or “Full Metal Faggot”, and the first couple of songs are enjoyable as well, just not anything innovative or groundbreaking.
Do I hate this album? Absolutely not, I think it’s a solid release for death-gore, and I would recommend it as a starter album for getting into this kind of stuff. Did the hype kill my expectations? To be honest, a little, but it didn’t stop my enjoyment of what good material was on this album. Overall, this album is at worst, fine, and at best, I’d say an above average album from a band I knew nothing about going into it. You want goregrind? With this release, it’s “So Far, So Gore”.
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