Spanish goregrinders, Haemorrhage need no introduction, rifling through medical waste and the goregrind scene since 1991, and becoming one of the most successful goregrind bands of all time, and not to mention prolific as well. With 7 studio albums, 4 live releases, and a barrage of many split releases, Haemorrhage is no stranger consistently releasing quality material. So with any successful band, it would come as no surprise that they would re-release their rare and more expensive split material in a compilation album. And if the title of the album isn’t a dead giveaway, this is their second installment of the ‘Haematology’ series of albums, compiling material from splits with bands such as Impaled, Dead, Disgorge, etc. Not only is there songs taken from splits, but the rare ‘Amputated Protocol’ EP as well. To a fan of the band, this is sure to entice a purchase of this compilation, but to someone like me. I’m a little split on this release myself.
To begin with, this compilation is a bit of a chore to sit through, as it comes out to be about an hour and eight minutes in length. This wouldn’t be as intimidating or laboring a task if there was a constant level of quality and/or consistency of the material presented, but using material spanning a decade in length is a bit jarring. One moment, you could be listening to a release you really like, but then be rudely punted into a new period in Haemorrhage history with a different mix and sound. I will however compliment, the amount of material there is on the album simply because I admire the fact that the band recognized that both newcomer fans of the band, and die-hard collectors wanted older material, and gave it a wider release, making this much more accessible for everyone. This album certainly is a collector’s wet dream and would be a must have for any fan’s shelf.
I won’t make much comment on the music itself, other than the fact that it is expertly performed. While I do have issue with the inconsistency of the album and the fast style of goregrind played, much of the material from the individual releases featured have an overlapping passion, and dungeon like horror flick vibe, with plenty of blast beats, solos, down-pitch guttural vocals, and cartoony anatomy violations galore. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like some of the tracks featured, like ‘Slaved To Dismember’, or ‘Hypochondriac’. Whether or not the music is entertaining in its own rite, the energy and craftsmanship put into it, no matter the split is constant. The album does a great job at compiling the material not on the previous ‘Haematology’ volume, but for whatever reason, excludes three songs from the split with Rompeprop, which was released two years prior. Maybe it had to do with it coming out too recently to be included, but to a fan, it shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
While the music isn’t my cup of tea, more akin to grindcore and death metal than goregrind, this album does a fantastic job at compiling songs that can go for three times the price tag of this album. Haematology II is absolutely a definitive must have for fans of Haemorrhage, but might be a bit daunting for people trying to familiarize themselves with the band. For now, I’ll stick with the studio albums, but if ever the band grows on me, I’ll certainly come back to this compilation.
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