Mucopus – Undimensional

I have no idea of whether I’m supposed to take ‘Undimensional’ seriously or if it’s supposed to be some parody of modern brutal/technical death metal, but I feel like treating it as the latter. Mucopus sounds like a group of very talented musicians playing this sort of music as a joke amongst themselves. More specifically, it sounds like the sort of thing that people heavily into the mathcore/tech scene would view brutal death metal as. Every element is taken to levels of complete parody. Despite having few real metalcore influences, this feels like more of a metalcore album than anything else, and I’m not sure why. In fact, it reminds me an uncomfortably large amount of Cephalic Carnage. That’s not a good thing, in case you didn’t know.

The most obvious eye-rolling occurs during the omnipresent breakdowns. Every song has them, and every element in them, like the rest of the music, is taken to a retarded extreme. The palm muting is as hard as humanly possible, the double bass as loud as possible, and the vocals as gurgly and squealy as possible. It’s like Infected Malignity’s first album if it had been made out of a sort of condescending malice towards brutal death rather than a love for it. I don’t get the impression that Mucopus really like death metal at all; it sounds more like they’re looking down their noses at the genre and have made this album to express what they feel is wrong with it. On top of that, it’s really musically unexciting; no matter how fast or technical or brutal it gets, my response to the music is just very unenthusiastic and vaguely offended. It’s an album that pisses me off just based on how silly and overwrought everything is, and they’re not doing it in a good spirit. It’s intentionally dumb.

Imagine some guy going to the Special Olympics with a helmet on his head, mismatched clothing, hair cut out in erratic patches, and deciding to flap his arms, drool, and yell loudly in center field. It’s not even a capable parody of the retarded; it’s just really noisy, obvious, and designed to draw attention to itself. If I’m actually supposed to take this music seriously, there’s a whole new problem to be faced: that’s a completely fucking impossible task. The worst is that retarded fadeout at the end of ‘Feast Of Famine’; I can’t think of a single worse parody of brutal death than that stupid double bass under agonizingly slow slam riff. And the sample at the end, which seems to be saying, “Yes, you were impressed by us! Admit it, you were!” just takes the fucking cake for irritating the hell out of me.

It’s just so inelegant and willfully stupid that I can’t bring myself to enjoy it. None of it gets my head moving because it’s designed to APPEAR heavy, not actually be it. The fast parts are technical and erratic, yet uninspired, and the slow parts are just silly and dripping with sarcasm. I’m not impressed on any level by it. I can imagine Mucopus sitting around, writing this album, and saying to each other “Yeah, we’ll put a pig squeal here! That’d be hilarious!” Then there would be a demonstration of the classic *bree*, laughter, and yet another bowl smoked. “God damn, we’re really sticking it to these guys.” No, not really. If this is supposed to be good, enjoyable music, then they’re going the exact wrong way about it. This really is Cephalic Carnage for a slightly more underground audience; it’s got that same feel of self-parody yet narcissism. Even the music itself has that sort of pretense about it: the atonal, Wormed-style tremolo riffing, the constant barrages of double bass and technical fills, the gurgly, squealy vocals, etc.

If it’s supposed to be a parody, it’s a clumsy and unamusing one. If it’s supposed to be serious, it’s a parody without knowing it. Either way, I don’t see it as being worth my time or yours. There are better bands in either branch, and ones that come by it more honestly than this. It’s brutal death for people in Dethklok shirts.

(Originally written for http://www.vampire-magazine.com)

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~ by noktorn on October 28, 2007.

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