Internal Bleeding – Voracious Contempt

Once upon a time, Internal Bleeding was a crappy Suffocation clone instead of a uniquely crappy death metal/hardcore hybrid, and in this style, they turned out one album called ‘Voracious Contempt’.  The year of this album was 1995, which was the height of both death metal sucking and second-string underground death metal labels like Pavement being willing to put out just about anything in the wake of Roadrunner offering up their roster of DM groups as a sacrifice to the Gods Ov Capitalism.  This is a very important thing to remember, because I can assure you that in NO OTHER YEAR would Internal Bleeding ever be signed by a decent label.  At least, that’s what I like to think.  I love to pretend that there aren’t labels who will release such mind-numbingly mediocre music onto the metal public.  With this capacity for self-deception you’d think I would have liked the latest Obituary album!

Musically, ‘Voracious Contempt’ sounds almost exactly like Suffocation’s ‘Pierced From Within’ (which was conveniently released five months prior to this album).  Granted, it lacks the very convoluted riffing and song structures and abstract themes of that band, but every track on this album is pretty much a straight-up clone of ‘Thrones Of Blood’.  Remember that song’s breakdown?  Remember how it became the prototypical breakdown for just about every NYDM song that came out for, oh, a decade after it?  Well, Internal Bleeding was clearly riding that wave hard, because every track has that same, sludgy “CHUN… CHUN… CHUN…” break.  There are some blasting sections with mostly inaudible tremolo riffing, lots of midpaced, hardcore-inspired grooves, and lots of guttural, somewhat burping growls.  There’s also a constant procession of start/stop chug riffs over double bass that all sound pretty much exactly like each other.

One of the big things that prevents this from being a mediocre yet enjoyable piece of brutal death metal is the production.  It’s got that mid to low level studio production of a lot of mid-’90s DM groups, with decent sounding drumming, somewhat submerged vocals, and way overly distorted guitars recorded at too high a volume to preserve any modicum of tone.  Same thing happened to Suffocation on, surprise surprise, ‘Pierced From Within’; the distortion gets to the point where you can’t actually, you know, hear the difference between notes, preventing coherent riffs from being composed.  This alone pretty much damns the album from ever being in regular rotation from me.  Mortician can get away with it.  Internal Bleeding can’t.

The only other real detail to speak of when it comes to this album is of influence.  While listening to ‘Voracious Contempt’, you can actually pick out a lot of riffs that seem very ahead of their time; many of the groove riffs sound like modern slams that a band like Devourment would use, and many people do suggest that Internal Bleeding is one of the bands that really coined the concept of slam death, if not the name or a real grasp of what the style was.  At the same time, though, I don’t know how much of this is slam death and how much of it is just overblown Suffocation worship that sort of blindly stumbled into the ‘slam’ sound by accident.  Internal Bleeding sounds like slam death in a lot of ways, but slam death doesn’t really sound like Internal Bleeding; I’d argue that the biggest thing here is the fusion of hardcore and death metal (though more limited than on later albums).

Internal Bleeding got somewhat better from here, but this really wasn’t a promising start.  If you’re trying to start a museum for random Suffoclones, you might as well pick it up, but I don’t see a real reason why.  You’ll never remember any of the songs, riffs, or lyrics, and it’s not even that pleasant when it’s going on.  It’s easy to ignore, and doing so isn’t really a bad idea.


~ by noktorn on January 30, 2008.

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