Haemorrhage (Spain) – Anatomical Inferno

Haemorrhage is essentially death metal’s answer to Agathocles, and not simply due to the enormous numbers of split 7″ releases the band manages to churn out.  It’s additionally due to the general spirit of the band; that they’ll be sticking with their sound forever without ever deviating from what they want to do.  With eighteen years of goregrinding madness under their belts, Haemorrhage have truly entrenched themselves in the metal scene unlike many other artists in their same field.  I’m a fan- to some degree.  Haemorrhage’s sound, though always concerned with the same general musical themes, tightened up significantly later in their career, and though I can appreciate their third album, ‘Anatomical Inferno’, they really began to take off right around their next LP.

The music that Haemorrhage plays (has always played, will always play) is oldschool, heavily Carcass-influenced goregrind with a lot of punk and oldschool hardcore edge.  There’s as many d-beats as there are blasts, and there’s as much punky four-chord strumming as there is tremolo.  Dual vocals include a low, possibly pitch-shifted gurgle and a hilariously Spanish-accented, high-pitched goblin yelp, which does add to the spirit of cackling fun about the music.  It’s hard to take Haemorrhage seriously, and they don’t intend to; the music’s not dark or atmospheric at all.  It genuinely sounds like a bunch of punk kids who happen to love death metal cranking out a bunch of two-minute songs about various icky things that happen in the autopsy room.  All the music is very bouncy and catchy, again in the punk style, though it never gets so punky that it’s not metal.  It’s just a very major influence.

Weirdly enough, while I really like the general idea and style of the music on ‘Anatomical Inferno’, I don’t REALLY enjoy the songs a whole lot.  It’s really more flaws of degree than a true problem with the band itself.  The songs are catchy, but they’re not catchy enough for me to remember them after the CD is back in its case.  The band tends to repeat itself a lot, particularly in the drumming department, which has two settings: punk beats and blasting.  The riffs, also, have a similar problem of punk versus tremolo, but the slightly degraded production quality is partially to blame as well, with that somewhat tonally smothered sound that a lot of mid-’90s death metal has.  I like the vocals, which are fun and executed effectively, but they’re not enough to carry the songs on their own.  When I listen to this album, it generally sort of plays in the background while I occasionally notice something fun going on.  I generally can’t even tell when the tracks change.

That being said, all the good things about it are matters of degree as well: I like the style of fun grind they play, even though I generally prefer my goregrind more ‘serious’.  While the band repeats itself a lot, what they’re repeating is pretty genuinely good, with solid riffing, vocals, and percussion.  It feels very oldschool throughout, and in a good way, with all the spirit of early goregrind behind it.  It’s the sort of album you appreciate as much or more for the performance than for the music itself; what the latter lacks in inspiration it makes up for in conviction, and the headbanging playing does do a lot to smooth over some of the release’s weaker points.  Overall, ‘Anatomical Inferno’ isn’t a mandatory release for anyone but Haemorrhage fans, but it is recommended for people to give a listen to it for those who are interested in one of the most consistently unique and solid bands of the goregrind scene.  It’s hardly going to disappoint, even if it doesn’t really amaze you.


~ by noktorn on February 8, 2008.

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