Brutal Sphincter is a brutal death metal/goregrind band from Liege, Belgium, that prides itself on disturbing depravity and the touchy taboo subjects, which was perfectly exemplified in their 2015 album Dirty Jazz Bondage Club. Three years later, the band released their latest full-length Analhu Akbar on the label Rotten Roll Rex, but instead of the typical gore/death lyrics and goofy, gross out imagery, Brutal Sphincter decided to step up their game and implement changes to their lyricism and musical style, and the differences are a major improvement, making for a more intriguing and enjoyable listen.
For reference, I listened to the first album right before re-listening to this one, and right off the bat, there were two major changes I noticed, that in a way, go hand-in-hand with one another, along with another standalone change. The first, is the change in vocal style and performance. While the first album had the standard indiscernible guttural snarls, grunts, belches, and growling vocals that come with goregrind ad nauseam, this album improves itself with actually containing printed lyrics for every song, along with actual enunciation of words, which is typically overlooked in the goregrind scene. And if you’re a fan of the filthy pitch-shifting and vomit filled vocals, don’t worry, they’re still around, along with the pig squealing and snorting that makes goregrind, well, goregrind. The increased complexity with the vocal style and performance, along with putrid pitch-shifting are huge pluses, and change things up just enough to keep things interesting. Jim Defays or “Major Diarrhea” as he is listed on the credits, does an excellent job at belching his slammy death metal vocals, and guttural “rees” with a slimy performance, and “GG Stalin” on the pitchshifter, while a bit too robotic sounding at times, adds variation to the vocals and is pretty harmless overall.
The second big change was, as mentioned before the lyrics; not the addition themselves, but the content itself. With goregrind as a genre, you won’t find much variation in the lyrical content, instead with the majority of bands focusing on gore, sex, perverse humor, etc. However, Brutal Sphincter took it upon themselves to bring something new to the table in terms of lyrics and in my opinion, is a breath of fresh air. Brutal Sphincter took a twisted take on the political culture of the world today, and this album offers their non-discrete commentary on various subjects, not without some comical liberties. The change is compelling and humorous at the same time, offering a twisted view of the world, and taking a stand against the censorship and PC culture in the world today. The political slant is reminiscent of early grindcore bands such as Napalm Death: musical forefathers of grindcore, and to an extent goregrind.
Now moving on to more aspects of the music itself, everything is similar more or less. Starting with less of the same, the third major change I noticed was the switch from a programmed drum machine, to an actual drummer, and I could not be more enthused. “Yourine” matches the technical drum style played by the previous machine perfectly and delivers an aggressively, groovy performance that’s catchy as hell, especially on tracks like ‘We’re All Scum’ or ‘Hijab Is Feminism’. The songs have more of that punky-grindcore style to them, again, much like the aforementioned Napalm Death, but also have some semi-technical and groove-laden riffing going on courtesy of Logan Dykens, on tracks like ‘Make Goregrind Great Again’ and ‘Autistic Meltdown’. Of course, the most slamming/death metal type of playing is featured on the cover of Torsofuck’s ‘Raped By Elephants’, which is amusing to say the least. Of course, saving the best for last, Brutal Sphincter gives us a cover of Lazytown’s ‘We Are Number One’ now in memory of the late Steven Karl. This track is probably the most entertaining on the entire album, and makes a great tribute to a great entertainer. Spermain on bass does a great job on this album and has a thick pluck to it, a firm presence, and perfectly accompanies the guitars in the mix, something that is greatly appreciated.
Brutal Sphincter offers a fresh take on goregrind, not only with their fierce and warped style of grinding gore, but also a critical and comical stab at the world and all that inhabit it, with the POOlitical statement of the decade. “Make Goregrind Great Again”. Well they certainly did, and for that, this is probably one of the best gory deathgrind albums of the year, and greater goregrind albums of the past decade. Give it peep, and try not to have a meltdown about it, because it’ll melt off your face!